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SUntbcrsi'tg \lxtsz: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



Officers of the Society elected April 10, 1902 ... vii 

Resident Members yiii 

Honorary and Corresponding Members x 

Members Deceased xii 

Preface . xiii 

The Trumbull Papers 1 

Index 479 




Elected Ai-kil 10, 1902. 





$crorbing Jsfcrttarg. 
EDWARD J. YOUNG, D.D Waltham. 

Comsponbing gunlaxv. 



Cabinet -Jueper. 
HENRY F. JENKS, A.M Canton. 

pembers at $argc of fyt Council. 




ARCHIBALD CARY COOLIDGE, Ph.D. ..... Cambridge. 

WILLIAM R. THAYER, A.M. Cambridge. 

Additional Member of the Council. 




Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 
Charles Eliot Norton, D.C.L. 

Rev. Edward Everett Hale, D.D. 
Hon. Horace Gray, LL.D. 


Josiah Phillips Quincy, A.M. 

Henry Gardner Denny, A.M. 

Charles Card Smith, A.M. 

"William Sumner Appleton, A.M. 

Abner Cheney Goodell, A.M. 
Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 

"Winslow "Warren, LL.B. 
Charles "William Eiiot, LL.D. 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. 
William Phineas Upham, A.B. 

Hon. "William Everett, LL.D. 
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

John Torrey Morse, Jr., A.B. 
James Elliot Cabot, LL.D. 

Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 
Rev. Edward James Young, D.D. 

Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., A.M. 
Henry "Williamson Haynes, A.M. 

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, LL.D. 


Rev. Henry Fitch Jenks, A.M. 
Rev. Edmund Farwell Slafter, D.D. 
Hon. Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 
John Tyler Hassam. A.M. 
Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D. 


Arthur Lord, A.B. 
Arthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 
Frederick Ward Putnam, A.M. 
James McKellar Bugbee, Esq. 
Hon. John Davis Washburn, LL.B. 
Rev. Egbert Coffin Smyth, LL.D. 

Rev. Arthur Latham Perry, LL.D. 

Hon. John Elliot Sanford, LL.D. 
Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

William Watson Goodwin, D.C.L. 
Hon. George Frisbie Hoar. LL.D. 
Rev. Alexander Viets Griswold 
Allen, D.D. 




Charles Greely Loring, A.M. 
Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Edwin Fiiny Seaver, A.M. 


Albert Bushnell Hart, Ph.D. 
Thornton Kirkland Lothrop, LL.B. 
Hon. Henry Stedman Nourse, A.M. 

1890. • 

Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.B. 


Rev. Samuel Edward Herrick, D.D. 
Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, M.D. 


George Spring Merriam, A.M. 


Hon. Charles Russell Codman, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, A.B. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 


Hon. Ed ward Francis Johnson, LL.B. 
Henry Walbridge Taft, A.M. 
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.D. 
William Roscoe Thayer, A.M. 


Rev. Morton Dexter, A.M. 

Hon. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, 

Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 


Hon. Francis Cabot Lowell, A.B. 
Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 
Alexander Agasxiz, LL.D. 
Hon. James Madison Barker, LL.D. 
Col. Theodore Ayrault Dodge. 


Thomas Corvvin Mendenhall, LL.D. 
Rev. Leverett Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Lt. Col. William Roscoe Liverniore. 
Hon. Richard Gluey, LL.D. 
Lucien Carr, A.M. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 


Hon. John Summerfield Brayton, 

Rev. George Angier Gordon, D.D. 
John Chipman Gray, LL.D. 
Hon. George Harris Monroe. 
Rev. James De Xormandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFarlaud Davis, A.M. 


Archibald Cary Coolidge, Ph.D. 
John Noble, LL.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 
Rev. Edward Henry Hall, D.D. 


James Frothingham Hunnewell, 

Hon. Daniel Henry Chamberlain, 

Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 
Rev. Elijah Winchester Donald, D.D. 
Worthington Chauncey Ford, Esq. 


Thomas Leonard Lirermore, A.M. 

Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 

Charles Gross, Ph.D. 

John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 

Arthur Theodore Lyman, A.M. 

Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, A.M. 


Edward Henry Strobel, A.B. 
Henry Lee Iligginson, LL.D. 

".V...J "> "ao 

Brooks Adams, A.B. 


David Masson, LL.D. 

Theodor Mommsen. 

Rt. Hon. William Edward Hartpole 
Lecky, LL.D. 

Hon. Carl Schurz, LL.D. 

Rt. Hon. James Bryce, D.C.L. 


Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 
Bart, D.C.L. 


Pasquale Villari. 


Goldwin Smith, D.C.L. 

John Foster Kirk, LL.D. 

Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
Henry Charles Lea, LL.D. 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 

Gustave Vapereau. 

John Austin Stevens, A.B. 
Joseph Florimond- Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 


Hermann von Hoist, Ph.D. 
Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Litt.D. 
John Marshall Brown, A.M. 
Hon. Andrew Dickson White, LL.D. 

Sir James McPherson Le Moine. 
Henry Adams, LL.D. 

Rev. Henry Marty n Baird, D.D. 

Rev, Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 

Hon. Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, 



Hon. William Ashmead Courtenay. 

John Andrew Doyle, M.A. 

Abbe Henry Raymond Casgrain, 

Litt. D. 
Alexander Brown, D.C.L. 


Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, D.C.L. 


Sir Leslie Stephen, LL.D. 
Hon. James Burrill Angell, LL.D. 
William Babcock Weeden, A.M. 
Richard Garnett, LL.D. 


Rev. George Park Fisher, D.D. 
Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 
Joseph Williamson, Litt. D. 
Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, LL.D. 


Frederic William Maitland, LL I). 

John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 

Hon. Simeon Eben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Bassett Moore, LL.D. 
Hon. John Hay, LL.D. 

Daniel Coit Gilman, LL.D. 
Rt. Hon. John Morley, LL.D. 
Frederic Harrison, M.A. 
Frederic Bancroft, Ph.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 

Edward Gaylord Bourne, Ph.D. 
John Bach McMaster, Litt.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 
Edward McCrady, A.B. 


Members who have died, or of whose death information has been received, since the last 

volume of Collections was issued, August 28, 1900, arranged'in the 

order of their election, and with date of death. 


George Bigelow Chase, A.M June 2, 1902. 

Horace Elisha Scudder, Liu, D Jan. 11,1902. 

Uriel Haskell Crocker, LL.B . . March 8, 1902. 

Hon. Roger Wolcott, LL.D " . . Dec. 21, 1900. 

Samuel F. McCleary, A.M April 25, 1903 . 

James Bradley Thayer, LL.D Feb. 14, 1902. 

John Fiske, LL.D July 4, 1901. 

Robert N. Toppan, LL.B May 10, 1901. 


Pvt. Rev. William Stubbs, DD April 22, 1901. 

Hon. William Maxwell Evarts, LL.D ■". . Feb. 28, 1901. 

Samuel Rawson Gardiner, D.C.L Feb. 23, 1902. 

lit. Rev. Maudell Creighton, D.D. . Jan. 14, 1901. 

Conesp on ding. 

Joseph Jackson Howard, LL.D April 18, 1902. 

Charles Jeremy Hoadly, LL.D Oct. 19,1900. 

Rev. Moses Coit Tyler, LL.D Dec. 28, 1900. 

George Washington Ranck, Esq. . Aug. 2, 1901. 

Hon. William Wirt Henry Dec. 5, 1900. 

Herbert Baxter Adams, LL.D July 30, 1901. 



~^H1S Society has heretofore printed two volumes of 
selections from the " Trumbull Papers ' contained 
in its archives, — volumes IX. and X. of the Fifth Series 
of its Collections. The first comprises " Early Miscel- 
laneous Papers." " Letters of Dr. William Samuel John- 
son from December, 1766,. to January, 1771/' and 
" Letters of Jedidiah Huntington, from April, 1775, to 
April, 1776 " ; and the second comprises the corre- 
spondence between General Washington and Governor 
Trumbull, with a few letters from Washington to Gates, 
Putnam, and others, and the correspondence during the 
years 1775 to 1778 between Trumbull and Joseph Warren, 
James Warren, Thomas Gage, and John Hancock. It is 
the purpose to print now a selection from the remaining 
letters and other documents relating to the War of the 
Revolution, beginning with the year 1777, and ending 
with the Peace of Paris in 1783. The earlier letters and 
documents of the Revolutionary period were printed 
many years ago in Force's " American Archives." by the 
permission of this Society, which was not then in a condi- 
tion to bear the cost of publication, and they are there- 
fore not included in the present volumes. Most of the 
letters are originals, filed and indorsed by Trum bull's 
own hand ; but a considerable number, as indicated in 



the editorial foot-notes, are from copies in Trumbull's 
"Letter Books," made at some indefinite time after the 
receipt of the letters. There is no reason to doubt the 
substantial accuracy of these copies ; but it should be 
added that Trumbull's copyist was very careless, especially 
with regard to the spelling of proper names, and it is 
only fair to infer that obvious errors of any kind are 
quite as likely to be due to him as to the writers, though 
many of the latter were illiterate persons, who wrote 
with no advantages of time or place. In printing, the 
spelling of the originals and of the copies in the " Letter 
Books " has been carefully followed, but the capitalization 
and the punctuation have been made to conform to mod- 
ern visage: 

Jonathan Trumbull, the ablest and most energetic of 
the war governors of the Revolutionary period, was the 
third son of Captain Joseph Trumbull, and was born in 
Lebanon, Connecticut, on the 12th of October, 1710. 
At the age of thirteen he entered Harvard College, in 
the same class with Thomas Hutchinson, afterward the 
not less able and eminent, though less fortunate, historian 
and Governor of Massachusetts. He graduated with 
good rank in 1727, but the Commencement programme 
does not show the subject of his graduating thesis. 
Three years later, when he took his Masters degree, 
he responded in the negative to the question, "Are 
there in 'the sacred Scriptures real contradictions which 
cannot in any way be explained ? " After leaving col- 
lege he studied for the ministry with Rev. Dr. Solo- 
mon Williams, of Lebanon, and at an early age was 
invited to become the settled minister of the adjoin- 
ing town of Colchester. While considering the accept- 
ance of this call, hits plans were suddenly changed by the 
loss at sea of his eldest brother, and he determined to 


enter into commercial business as a partner with his 
father. He afterward continued in trade, alone or with 
various partners, nearly to the close of his life. In 1733 
he was elected by his native town a deputy or represen- 
tative! to the General Assembly, which office he filled for 
fifteen years, being elected Speaker three times. In 
1740 he was chosen one of the Assistants, and served 
in that capacity for twenty-two years. From 17CG to 
1770 he was Deputy Governor, and from the latter year 
until 1783, when he declined a re-election, he was annu- 
ally elected Governor. Besides these offices lie filled for 
one year the office of Assistant Judge of the Windham 
County Court, and for seventeen years that of Chief 
Judge of the same Court ; was Judge of Probate for the 
Windham district for nineteen years ; Chief Justice of 
the Superior and Supreme Courts of the Colony for four 
years; and at different times he held other appoint- 
ments of inferior importance. 

In December, 1735, he was married to Faith, daughter 
of Rev. John Robiuson, of Duxbury, Mass., and great- 
granddaughter of John Robinson, the minister of the 
Plymouth Pilgrims. They had six children, — Joseph, 
Commissary General in the Revolutionary army (born 
March 11, 1737, died July 23, 1778) ; Jonathan, Paymas- 
ter General in the army, and afterward Governor of the 
State (born March 26, 1740, died August 7, 1809) ; Faith 
(born January 25, 1743, died November 24, 1775), wife 
of Jedidiah Huntington ; Mary (born July 16, 1745, died 
February 9, 1831), wife of William Williams, one of the 
signers of the Declaration of Independence; David (born 
February 5, 1751, died January 17, 1822), father of 
Governor Joseph Trumbull ; and John, soldier, artist, 
and autobiographer (born June 6, 1756, died November 
10, 1843). Mrs. Faith Trumbull died at Lebanon, May 


29, 1780, three years before the close of the war. Her 
husband survived her more than five years, and died in 
his native town August 17, 1785. In 177 ( J he received 
the degree of LL.D. from Yale College, and in the year 
of his death he received the same degree from the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh. 

It is, perhaps, needless to add that Trumbull was a 
man of unusual ability, clear-headed, of sound judgment, 
unbending integrity, and great energy, intensely devoted 
to the American cause in every stage of the contest with 
the mother country, and that he possessed in large meas- 
ure the confidence of all who came in contact with him. 
The letters now printed will amply confirm the reputa- 
tion which he has borne for more than a century and a 
quarter, and will throw fresh light on the period illustrated 
by them. 

Since this volume was electrotyped, and a large part 
of the next volume was put in type, the Committee have 
been deprived of the valuable co-operation of their associ- 
ate, George Bigelow Chase, who died on the 2d of June. 
Mr. Chase had taken much interest in the prosecution of 
the work, and had previously served on the Publishing 
Committee for the Second Part of the " Trumbull Papers." 
His loss will be keenly felt by the surviving members of 
the Committee, as well as by the Society, of which he 
had been an active member for more than twenty-five 

For the Committee, 


Boston, July 10, 1902. 


Pakt III. 




Lebanon, 26 th Feb r ?, 1776. 

Dear Sir, — Your favour of the 15 th was delivered 
me the 22 nd instant;! it always gives me pleasure to 
receive your letters, and know from your own hands the 
state you and the rest of my dear connections are in. 
All here are in usual health, except our dear Rev d Pas- 
tor;! he appears to be just at the entrance of the dark 
valley of the Shaddows of Death. I left him at 12 o'clo., 
his family in tears; he is calm, patient, and resigned. 
He is troubled with a terrible cough, and extream diffi- 
culty of respiration, occasioned by a hard tumor in his 
throat of the scrophulous kind. The world and its con- 
temptible state lessen before him at every thought. His 
friendship hath been one of the best comforts I have had 
for the insignificancy of myself. 0! the vanity of man 
as mortal ; ! the grandeur of him when prepared for 

* Colonel, afterward General, Jedidiah Huntington was the eldest son of General 
Jabez Huntington, of Norwich, Conn., where he was born Aug. 4, 1743. He graduated 
with honor at Harvard College in 1763, and married first Faith Trumbull, and secondly, a 
little more than two }-ears after her death, Ann Moore, a sister of Bishop Moore, of Vir- 
ginia. He served with distinction during the War of the Revolution: and after its close he 
held various offices of honor and trust in civil life. He died Sept. 25, 1818 See 5 Mass. 
Hist. Coll., vol. ix. p. 493 n.; 2 Proceeding?, vol. vii. p. 355; Miss Caulkins's History 
of Norwich, pp. 417, 418; Huntington Family Memoir, p. 162. — Eds. 

t Colonel Huntington's letter was written from the Camp at Roxbury, and is printed 
in 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ix. pp. MO, 511. — Eds. 

t Rev. Solomon Williams, D.D. He was born in Hatfield, Mass., June 4, 1700 ; 
graduated at Harvard College in 1719 ; ordained pastor of the church in Lebanon, Conn., 
Dec. 5, 1722; and died there Feb. 29, 1776. See Sprague's Annals of the American 
Pulpit, vol. i. pp. 321-326. — Eds. 


immortal glory. The world after all is a little pitiful 
thing ; not performing any one promise it makes us for 
the future, and every day taking away and annulling the 
joys of the past. A few days ago I had a dear affection- 
ate daughter Faithy.* Alas! she is no more with us. 
Let us comfort one another, and if possible study to add 
as much more goodness. love, and friendship to each other 
as death has deprived us of in her. May we be furnished 
with divine support and help, be quickened in our own 
preparations for death and for our entrance into Eternity, 
that when the period of life is come we may quit this 
transitory world with joy and triumph in beleiving on 
him whom we have not seen, our dear ascended Saviour, 
whose name is the Lord our Righteousness. Your mother 
joyns with me in the tenderest affection for you and our 
dear children, praying for the divine blessing and pro- 
tection ever to accompany you and them. 
• I am sorry the golden opportunity for attacking the 
strong fortress of our enemies in Boston is let slip for 
want of a necessary article, which Providence hath hith- 
erto so much witheld, no doubt for wise purposes. -Vie 
have this year seen the wonderful ways and marvellous 
works of the Lord. When we are doing our duty, and 
using such means as He hath put in our power, we may 
then stand still and hope to see his salvation. At the 
request of the General w r e have spared all the powder 
that prudence would permit; besides what we ordered 
from Providence, last week fourty hundred was carried 
from Norwich. All was safe in Canada about the 12 th 
instant ; the bridge over the lake firm and strong ; troops 
marching on; ours will begin to go on by divisions this 
week, — shall send with them in casks about eight hun- 
dred weight of powder. We furnished for Gen 1 Lee half 
a ton. Have nothing special this post from that quarter. 

* Faith, third child of Jonathan Trumbull, was born Jan. 25, 174.3; married ::i May, 
1765, Jedidiali Huntington; and died at Dedharn Nov. 2-i, 1775. — Ens. 


I suppose you and your brother Maj r# comunicate my 
letters to each other; have not time to write him; have 
not any of his for a long time. 

I am both your and his most affectionate 
n ^ T „ Jon™ Trumbull. 

Col° Jed. Huntington. 


Lebanon, 22" d March, 1776. 

Sir, — Eliphalet Dyer and William Williams, Esquires. 
are authorised and impowered by the Governor and 
Council appointed to assist him in the recess of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, to move your body to grant this Colony 
for its oss the loan of such a number and ^i^p^ nf mnnnn 
as } t ou can spare without detriment, which if granted the 
return of them or their value shall be secured. The 
reason of this application is, that we have undertaken 
to set the furnace at Salisbury in blast, to cast cannon, 
&c, for use at this important crisis of public affairs ; that 
the hearth is laying, ore, coal, and every other necessary 
preparing, workmen provided for every part of the busi- 
ness, and hope to begin to cast cannon in all next month, 
or early in May. They can with greater ease be trans- 
ported to New York, and used where needed, than bro't 
here. In the mean time fearing our necessity of canon 
for use before this work can be effected, and apprehend- 
ing that a oreat number of various sizes may be spared 
your Colony without injury to the common service, do 
therefore hope for a compliance with our motion. 

* John Trumbull. — Ei>3. 

t Nathaniel Wnoihull was at this time President of the Provincial Congress of New 
York. He was born in St. George's Manor, Long Island. Dec. 30, 1722, and died in New 
Utrecht, Long Island, Sept. 10. 1770. He served under Abercrombie in the attack on 
Crown Pmrtt am? Ticnp.deroifa in 1758, and under Amherst in 1700. He was a member of 
the colonial assembly of New York from 17G9 to 1775. He was appointed a brigadior- 
gf-neral in the American arn.v in August, 1775, and died of wounds received shortly after 
the battle of Long I-!and. See Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. vi. 
pp.502, 603.— Eds. 


This Colony have been exploring lead mines; one at 
Middletown is opened, fifty or sixty tons of ore raised, 
a smelting furnace built there, and expect thirty or forty 
tons of lead to be run out soon. A com* 66 appointed 
by our Assembly in Oct r last to explore and examine a 
lead mine at New Canaan in your Colony made report 
at our session in December last, copy thereof is enclosed. 
If worthy your attention, and ore is raised there, the 
furnace at Middletown may serve for smelting what is 
raised at both places. Any service we can render your 
Colony iii that or any other instance will be done with 

I am with great truth and regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hum ble servant, 

J T 

Indorsed : To President Woodhull. f Dyer & Williams, Esq rs . 


Middletown, Jan* 3 , 1777. 

Sir, — This acknowledges the receipt of your favor of 
29 th ult°. We are not favored with resolves or directions 
from Congress as usual ; I suppose for the same reasons 
you mention in yours. I congratulate you upon General 
Washington's success in the Jerseys, which I hope will 
be attended with very happy consequences. I can assure 
you it affords me a very sensible pleasure to see you so 
well engaged in the common cause, and for the strong 
faith you seem to have in Fort Independence, and 
heartily wish you may not be disappointed. I shall at 
all times contribute all in my power towards strengthen- 

* General Philip Schuyler .'born in Albany, N. Y., Nov. 22, 1733. died there Nov. 
18. 1804) was at this time in command cf the northern department of New York. For a 
full account of his life, character, and services, see Lossing's Life and Times of Philip 
Schuyler. — Eds. 


ing that quarter. We shall do all in our power to keep 
the cannon foundery at Salisbury in blast through the 
winter, and shall spare no cost to do it, though we dare 
not greatly depend on the success of it. We have al- 
ready sent to your State ten cannon of 12 lba and ten of 
6 lbs , but conclude they are used in some important place, 
otherwise they might go to the northward. We have 
at the furnace 4 eighteen pounders and two nine pound- 
ers, but have not at present water sufficient to boar them ; 
as soon as that can be done am willing you should have 
them, and shall give order accordingly, with shot for 
them. I have seen Cap* Winslow, and conferred with 
him about going to the northward, who seems to be well 
inclined to the business, and supposes he can engage a 
company. M r Lester I have not seen, but doubt not he 
may be engaged. Shall take an early opportunity to see 
them, and advise you thereof. We are filling up our 
quota for the standing army with all possible expedition, 
and hope you may soon have the pleasure to see a good 
garrison at Ticonderoga and Fort Independence. We 
have lately recieved a letter from Congress wherein 
they express an ardent concern for a supply of cannon 
for the northward, earnestly requesting a supply from 
Salisbury furnace. If the furnace can be kept in blast 
and we are succeeded, hope shall be able to supply 

Please to accept the return of my best regards and the 
compliments of the season, and wishing many happy 
years to you and yours in health and liberty, I am, Sir, 
Your most obedient, humble servant, 

J. T. 

Hon* 1 * Maj r General Schuyler.* 

* General Schuyler's letter to which this is the answer is printed in 5 Force's American 
Archives, vol. iii. cols. 1470, 1477. — Eds. 



In Committee of Safety for the State of New York. 
Fishkill, Jan* 14 th , 1777. 

Sir, — The Committee have received your favor of the 
first instant and direct me to inform your Excellency, 
that altho' the expedient mentioned therein may tend 
in some sort to alleviate the difficulties which this State 
labored under by the embargo laid in Connecticut: yet 
we are of opinion, that it will not entirely remove them, 
and at the same time, in so far as that embargo relates 
to the inhabitants of this State, it will much injure the 
commerce of Connecticut. 

You must be sensible, Sir, that at present all the articles 
of foreign produce which we can obtain, must come to 
us thro' the Eastern or Southern States. No fact can be 
clearer than this that every restraint on trade enhances 
the price of commodities. The impediments therefore 
in our commerce thro' your State will naturally turn the 
channel of it to the southward. Now, Sir, it being evi- 
dent that the bringing of goods thro' the State of Con- 
necticut must enrich that State, by the whole expence 
attending such land carriage, it is equally evident that 
every discouragement must work a considerable loss 
to that State. 

I am further to observe to you, Sir, that this State is 
of all others in the most distressed situation ; and every 
aggravation of our distresses will, you are sensible, put 
new arguments in the mouths of the disaffected, who let 
slip no oppertunity of painting in the liveliest colours the 
benefits we should reap from an immediate submission to 

* James Livingston, of New York parentage, was born March 27, 1747, in Canada, 
where his father had settled. The son returned to New York and served in the American 
army, whore he attained the rank of Colonel. When this letter was written he v>as a 
member of the New York Provincial Congress and Chairman of the Committee of Safety. 
He died in Saratoga County, X. Y., Nov. 29, 1S32. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of Amer- 
ican Biography, vol. iii. p. 7-47. — Evs. 


that power whose tyranny and barbarity all good men 
view with abhorrence. Merchants belonging to the State 
of New York have retired to Connecticut fur the sake of 
commerce, and by this personal property the trade of 
your State hath beenmiuch encreased. Now Sir, when 
merchants of this State bring commodities into Connecti- 
cut on their own account, it is certainly just and right 
to permit such commodities intended for the use of our 
inhabitants to have a free passage thro' Connecticut. 

This Committee have too good an opinion of the Legis- 
lature of Connecticut to suppose, that they had it in 
idea to cut off the communication between this State and 
the sea ports to the eastward of us in order to reduce the 
price of commodities in those ports. Their good sense 
would certainly teach them the inefficiency of such vio- 
lent remedy, and their humanity would forbid them to 
employ it. 

Besides this, the great exertions which yon have made 
in the common cause forbids us to harbour such sus- 
picions. We seek for the source of that embargo, in 
your own necessities and the avarice, rapacity and ex- 
tortion of your neighbours, thro' the just resentment of 
which you have neglected that attention which would 
otherwise have been paid to this State. We shall there- 
fore submit it to your Excellency, whether it would not 
be proper to suffer all such goods to pass thro' Connecti- 
cut into this State as shall appear, by a proper certificate 
from the Chairman of the Committee where the same 
have been purchased, to have been bought to the east- 
ward of your State for the use of our inhabitants, as also 
such commodities as by merchants of this State have been 
imported into Connecticut for the use of our inhabitants. 
Such a general resolution we conceive to be entirely 
within the equity ot your law, and would, we imagine, 
remove the uneasiness which our constituents now labor 


The general power given to M r Canfield cannot effect- 
uate these good purposes since he cannot on all occasions 
be a proper judge of our wants, or be able to determine 
whether the proprietor of goods does really stand in 
need of them for the use of his family. 

The Committee, Sir, have not the least doubt but that 
you will on this, as you have done on every other occa- 
sion in which the general good of America hath been 
concerned, exert yourself to the utmost to promote that 
concord, unanimity, and good neighbourhood which is 
necessary not only for the States of Connecticut and 
New York, but also for the great cause in which they are 
so deeply engaged. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, with the greatest respect, 
Your most obedient and humble servant. 
By Order. James Livingston Chairman. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 14 th Jan?, 1777. Com tee of Safety of N. York, de our Embargo, 
&c, rec d 19 th ins 1 at noon.* 

* In a letter dated Middletown, Jan. 1, 1777, to which the foregoing letter is a reply, 
Governor Trumbull wrote: "As to the difficulties you labour under on account of the 
imbargo laid in this State, permits have been given on application to transport out of this 
State to your State; and every permition of that kind will be granted on proper applica- 
tion that can be consistant with the general service. John Canfield, of Sharon, Esq r , is 
impowered by the Commissary Gen 1 of the army, and is furnished with a general permit. 
I will give him instructions to indulge transporting such quantities for family use in your 
State as shall appear needful, consistant with the interest of both States." By a resolve 
of the General Assembly passed in October, 177G, an embargo was laid on " the exportation 
out of this Colony, by land or water, without a permit from his Honor the Governor, of 
the following articles, to wit: wheat, rye, Indian corn, pork and salt, pease, beans, bread, 
and every kind of meal except necessary stores for vessels outward bound; likewise all 
kind of cloaths. linnen and woollen, fit and suitable for cloathing for the army, except such 
as shall be provided for and sent for the use of our army or navy; and also that an embargo 
be laid upon the exportation out of this Colony by water of the following articles, to wit : 
beef, live cattle, sheep, butter and cheese." In the following month this act was repealed, 
and in place of it another act was passed, empowering the Governor with the advice of the 
Council '• to issue out and send forth his proclamation, thereby to prohibit and forbid the 
transportation or carrying out of this State, either by land or water, of any article or tiling 
that his Honor the Governor and his Council shall think necessary and expedient for the 
lime set and limited in and by such proclamation," providing that the proclamation shall 
not continue in force after the expiration of twenty days from the beginning of the next 
General Assembly, and with some other provisions designed to limit its operation and to 
render it effectual. At the same session resolves were passed adding to the articles on 
which an embargo was laid at the October session, on the exportation by land or water of 



Fish Kill, Jan? 15 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Your favour of the 3 d instant without signature 
was delivered me on the 12 th instant on my way to this 
place ; that of the 27 th ult° I had the honor to recieve 
yesterday. With pain I inform you I have no prospect 
of procuring any cannon from this State, and the few 
you mention to be at Salisbury will when we get them 
still leave us amazingly deficient. I shall, however, hope 
from your usual exertions to procure an additional num- 
ber from your State. Those now at Salisbury 1 shall 
send for as soon as I am advised that they are ready, of 
which you will please to direct notice to be given me. 

On my return to Albany I shall send Captain Winslow 
instruction for raising a company of carpenters, and a 
blank sent to your Honor to be filled up with the name of 
such person as you may think proper, should Cap* Lester 
decline entering the service. 

I am sorry Col Swift was disappointed in the money. 
The Convention of this State has lent me ten thousand 
pounds, out of which 1 will lend him a supply on my 
return to Albany, for which place I propose setting out 

The Paymaster General has orders to adjust all ac- 
counts of the army in my absence, so that I imagine some 
neglect of the officers has been the occasion of the milage, 
&c, of Col° Swift's regiment remaining unpaid. 

" the following articles, viz : oats, wool, flax, bar iron, beef, fat cattle, sheep, swine, butter, 
or cheese," and also "all West India goods, viz: rum, sugar and molasses brought into this 
State, and also all New England rum." In October, 1777, an act was passed, granting per- 
mission, under specified conditions, for any person or persons who had purchased any 
goods, wares, etc., in any other State, " to transport such article, &c, through this State," 
and allowing the inhabitants of the State, under certain restrictions, "to transport out of 
tiiis State by land or water so much of their produce, excepting sheep's wool and cloathing 
of every kind, as shall be sufficient to purchase a sufficient quantity of salt for the use of 
their families respectively, and that only." See Public Keeords of the State of Connecti- 
cut from Oct;, 1776, to Feb., 1778, pp. 12, 63-65, 71, 414, 415. — Eds. 
* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


My feelings on the repeated success of our army in 
Jersey are better conceived by your own than they can 
be described by me. The cloud which so darkly im- 
pended over us seems dispelling, and I trust with the 
divine assistance that every worthy American will still 
enjoy the fruit of his industry in peace, and with that rest 
which arises from an unfeigned gratitude to the omni- 
potent Governor of the Universe. 

Please to accept my best wishes for your health & 

I am ; Sir, most sincerely, 

Your most obed fc , hble. seiV. 

Pit : Schuyler. 

Hou ble Gov 1 Trumbull. 


Lebanon, Jan? 22 nd , 1777. 

Sir, — It gives me concern to learn by your favor of 
the 15 th instant that you have no prospect of procuring 
[any cannon] in your State. The few we have at Salis- 
bury are now boring out. The overseers of the foundery 
have my orders by the return of your express to advise 
you when they will be ready, and deliver them to your 
order. The furnace is blown out. We shall put her in 
blast as soon as possible, and advise you from time to 
time how w r e succeed. 

Since my last I have seen Cap 1 Winstow, who consents 
to undertake in case Cap 1 Lester refuses. 

I am glad to find it is in your power to furnish Col 
Swift with money to raise his regiment. I have advised 
him of it, and expect he will soon apply to you. The 
service has and daily suffers much for the want of the 
money. His regiment when raised may serve as a re- 
inforcement to the garrison at Ticonderoga. for the sit- 
uation of which I am extremely anxious, and the more 


on account of the dissensions that have taken place, and 
proceeded to such an alarming degree of outrage and 
disorders amongst the troops now there, of which, I 
presume, you are better informed than I am, and doubt 
not but you will do the justice which the nature of the 
cause and the country requires. 

I most sincerely return your congratulations upon the 
late happy success of our arms in New Jersey and the 
agreeable prospects thereby opening upon us, and heartily 
join in }~our wish that the event may be happy to every 
honest American, and that praise and glory may be given 
to the omnipotent Ruler of the Universe for every mercy 
we experience ; sentiments of gratitude to the Author 
and Giver of every good are the proper fruits, reasonable 
fruits of prosperity, as a fiducial trust and hope in his 
justice, his goodness, and righteous government consti- 
tute our best support and consolation in adversity. 

I will not in this forget to assure you that I am, Sir, 
with great truth and sincerity, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant. 

J. T L. 

Gen 1 Schuyler. 



Lebanon, January 22 d , 1777. 

Gentlemen, — Your favour of the 14 tb instant by ex- 
press came to hand the 19 th , and I fully concur with 
you in opinion that it is within the equity of our act that 
goods purchased in the Eastern States, or imported by 
your merchants into this State for the use of your in- 
habitants should be suffered to pass thro this State with- 
out any unnecessary impediment. 

The Legislature of this State had certainly no design 
to add to the distresses or injure any of their neighbours 
by their imbargo ; they had undoubted intelligence that 


many persons of property unfriendly to these States, in 
this, in yours, and in other neighbouring States were 
privately attempting to ingross provisions and cloathing 
in this State, with intent to conceal the same, to run it 
to the enemy and thereby distress our army and em- 
barrass & if possible defeat our measures ; to this pur- 
pose the most extravagant prices were offered and given, 
& the currencies thereby affected. To prevent these 
evils the Assembly laid their imbargo & authorized the 
Governor & Coiiiittee of Safety to impress & seize any 
such articles thus ingrossed for the use of the army. 
The general good of the united States was their object, 
in compassing w c they wished as much as possible to 
avoid the injury of any of them. Powers were therefore 
vested in the Gov r to permit the exportation of any of 
the articles enumerated. Permits have been and will be 
granted for the exportation of these articles to the sub- 
jects of the neighbouring States, where it appears they 
are intended for the use of the friendly inhabitants & 
there is no design to play upon our currencies. In the 
particular cases you have mentioned, the CoiTiittee of 
Pay Table at Hartford, or either of them, Elisha Chauncey 
& James Wads worth, Jim., Esq r8 , at Durham, the Hon ble 
Jabez Hamlin. Esq r , at Middletown, and Jonathan Fitch, 
Esq r , at New Haven, are impowered to give permits for 
exportation to any person from your State applying & 
producing a certificate as you propose ; if this provision 
is not thought sufficiently to remove the inconvenience 
persons will be vested with like powers in any other 

place you shall think necessary. 

I am, &c. 

Indorsed: Lre. to the Com tcc of Safety for the State of New York, de 
Imbargo, sent Jany. 23, ty return* Express. Copy. 



Albany, Jan* 23 d , 1777. 
Sir, — On Monday I returned from Fishkill, and on 
my way up I wrote to Col Swift to call or send for the 
money to pay the bounty of his regiment, and requested 
him to forward on his troops with all expedition. Per- 
mit me to in treat you in the most earnest manner to 
expedite a body of troops to Ticonderoga, which I have 
many reasons to believe will be attacked in less than 
three weeks, and unless the garrison is reinforced will 
certainly be lost. 

Great discontents prevail in every part of this State 
at a law which is said to be past in Connecticut to pre- 
vent the exportation of a variety of articles, without a 
supply of which the distresses the people in this State 
already labour under will be greatly encreased. They 
consider such a law under the present situation of this 
State as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befal 
them, especially as it gives the enemies to America so 
fair an opportunity to create suspicions and sow dis- 
sension, nor are they idle on the occasion. 

Pray be so good as to favor me with a copy of the law, 
if any such exists, that if its contents should have been 
misrepresented, I may quiet the minds of the people. f 
I am, Sir, with great esteem, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Ph : Schuyler. 

IIon ble Jox TH Trumbull, Esq r , &c. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 
t See ante, pp. 10, 11, note. — Eds. 



Albany, 27 th Jan*, 1777. 

Sir, — In a line Col Steward wrote 'me from Salisbury 
on his way to the eastward he informed me that he found 
eighty-two pieces of cannon at Salisbury. As that num- 
ber greatly exceeds what you mentioned to me, I sup- 
pose you had not then a return of the whole. Even 
more than these will be w r anted to the northward. I must 
therefore intreat your Honor to give orders that they may 
be finished oh with all dispatch and delivered for this 

Col Swift has recieved ten thousand dollars. I wish 
his or any other regiment, or even parts of regiments, 
to be sent up without delay ; for I firmly believe unless 
more troops arrive at Ticonderoga by the time Lake 
Champlain is passable on ice, that we shall lose that 
important pass. I wish you to second the applications 
I have made for troops to the Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire States, — not one man from the latter is yet 
arrived at Ticonderoga. 

I am, Sir, with great respect & esteem, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Ph : Schuyler. 

Hon ble Jon tTH Tkumbull, Esq r , &c. 


Providence, January 28 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Immediately upon report being made of the 
proceedings of the Committee of the four New-England 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

t Stephen Hopkins, one of the sixers of the Declaration of Independence, and, from 
early manhood almost to his death, a conspicuous figure in public life in Khode Island, 
was born in Sciluate, R. I., March 7, 1707, and died in Providence, July 13, 1785. He was 
a zealous advocate of the rights of the Colonies, and a man of extensive knowledge as I 
great energy. See Appleton's Cyclopadia of American Biography, vol. ill- p. -59. — Li>s. 



States our General Assembly approved and accepted tl 
same, and passed Acts necessary for carrying their res- 
olutions into execution.* 

The Council of War, in pursuance of the resolve of said 
Committee to establish couriers, employed Mess" Peter 
and Benjamin Mumford who ride weekly alternately 
from this town to Exeter in New-Hampshire ; they have 
rode since the third of January current, and after each 
had performed his rout, the Council agreed with them 
to continue riding for three months for the sum of One 
Hundred and Twenty Pounds for both their services; 
from their known fidelity I make no doubt but the chan- 
nel of comunication to and from Exeter will be very 

I am obliged to you for your very agreeable intel- 
ligence from his Excellency Gen 1 \Yashington, & from 
Gen 1 Schuyler ; it gives me the greatest pleasure to find 
our affairs wear so pleasing an aspect. 

German steel is not to be had here. There is a manu- 
factory of steel set up in this State; the steel produced 
answers extremely well for all sorts of edge-tools, and 
is made use of by the smiths here, who very much ap- 
prove the same ; of that sort you could be supplied with 
the quantity wanted. 

The thirteen ships who came down the Sound the 26 th 
current arrived at Newport yesterday, and are supposed 
to be the wood vessels from Lon^-Island with their con- 
voy ; they drove on shore at Point Judith a sloop laden 
with salt : an armed schooner and a number of barges 
from the harbor of Newport attacked her, and it is most 
likely will destroy her. 

The enemy are erecting a fort or batteiy upon Rhode- 

* The Committee of the four New England States met at Providence, and sat from Dec. 
25, 1778, to Jan. 3, 1777. The record of their proceedings is printed in the Appendix to the 
Public Records of Connecticut from Oct , H70, to Feb., 177S. pp. 535-599. The votes of the 
Rhode Ldaiid Assembly are printed in Rhode Island Records, vol. viii. pp. 85-109. — Eds. 



Island near Fog-land Ferry, and also one upon the heights 
at the north part of s' 1 Island opposite to Bristol-Ferry. 

Some very valuable prizes have arrived within the 
State of Massachusetts-Bay the week last past. That 
State is taking the most effectual methods to complete 
their quota of the Continental troops assigned them, by 
ordering each town to furnish the number alloted them 
by the General Court in a limited time. 

With respect to the enemy on Rhode-Island I cannot 
say anything with certainty, the reports are various ; but 
not any material movement, saving their fortifying, hath 
come to my knowlege. 

I am Sir, in behalf of the Council, 

Your Hon r most obed* & hb. ser 1 . 

Step. Hopkins, Chair 71 . 

Hon'ble Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 28 th January, 1777. Chairman Hopkins, answer to mine; rec d 
30 th inst. Ans* 3 d Feb?, 1777. 


Albany, Jan? 31 st , 1777. 

Sir, — M r Kirkland, our missionary among the Six 
Nations,! arrived here this day from the westward with 
several Indian sachems. From the information he and 
they bring, as well as from many corroborating accounts, 
it is past a doubt that General Carlton intends to attack 
Ticonderoga as soon as the lake is passable over the ice. 
It is therefore incumbent on you to send nil the new 
levies raised in your State instantly to Ticonderoga, 
by the shortest route, and with the greatest dispatch 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ens. 

t Rev. Samuel Kirkland, born in Norwich, Conn., Dec. 1, 1744, died at Clinton, N. Y., 
Feb. 23, 18U8. was the father of Kev. John T. Kirkland, D.D., President of Harvard Col- 
lege, 1810-1828. — Eds. 

1777.] rniLip SCHUYLER. ig 

1 confidently hope that the most active measures will 
be adopted by your State to reinforce the garrison at 
Ticonderoga, and to accelerate the march of the troops 
intended for that service, as a moment's delay may he 
productive of the loss of that important fortress, — per- 
haps after the most strenuous exertions they may still 
arrive too late. Pray advise me immediately by express 
what number of men I may expect from your State, and 
when, and what route they will take, that I may give the 
orders necessary on the occasion. 

I am, Sir, with great respect & esteem, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Ph : Schuyler. 
The Hon ble Jo.n th Trumbull, Esq r , &c. 


Albany, Feb? 6 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Two days ago I had the pleasure to recieve 
your favor of the 22 ud ult°. 

I enclose you a warrant for Cap* Winslow, and one to 
be filled up to such other person as your Honor may 
judge proper to be employed in the service. Col° Swift 
has already recieved ten thousand dollars in part of the 
bounty money for his regiment. I have no hopes that 
his men will be in time for the winter relief. By a letter 
just recieved from Col° Wayne I find that after the 8 th of 
this month the garrison at Ticonderoga will consist of no 
more than five hundred & ei«;htv-iour rank and file of 
the Massachusetts militia. Burrelfs mostly went off on 
the day their enlistment expired. 

I was not officially informed of any disturbance having 
taken place at Ticonderoga untill after my return from 
Fishkill, when I found a letter from Maj r Whiting com- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


plaining of the outrage he and others had sustained, on 
which I immediately ordered Lieu' Col Craige under 
arrest, and he is now here and will he tried as soon as the 
evidence arrive from the Massachusetts. It is much to 
be lamented that such unbecoming jealousy prevails be- 
tween the men of corps from different States. It is more 
so that it infects gentlemen who from their situation in 
life oiisjht to be far above it. I feel so much chagrin on 
this account that I most sincerely wish to quit a public 
life & retire to enjoy the calm comforts of a domestic 

M r Kirkiand, with six Oneida Indians, is on his way to 
Boston. After seeing that place they propose passing 
thro' Connecticut and this State to pay a visit to Gen- 
eral Washington. It is of much importance that some 
attention should be paid these people : from your Honor 
I am sine they will recieve it. 

I am, Sir, with unfeigned esteem & regard, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

Ph: Schuyler. 

The Hou ble Jon th Trumbull, &c. 


Lebanon, 11 th Feb?, 1777. 

Sir, — I have recieved your favors of the 23 d , 27 th , & 
31 st of January, am rejoiced to find Col Swift has recieved 
money to .enable him to fill up his regiment, which has 
been delayed principally for want of it, but am unable 
to inform how far he has succeeded, but shall not omit 
anything in my power to promote the filling up our 
battalions with all possible expedition. That is the object 
to be attended with utmost diligence. The employment 
of militia is both difficult and expensive. The officers of 
the several battalions have recieved the additional bounty 


given by this State. We have now so many men called 
out of this State for a short service in Rhode Island and 
to the westward that I dare not encourage giving support 
to the garrison at Ticonderoga, be sure not from militia, 
and I fear not from the new levies. Have urged the 
States of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to forward 
men to that quarter, representing the danger there in 
the strongest light. Hope they have sent numbers that 
way. As to the embargo laid by this State which gives 
so much uneasiness in yours, am sorry that a measure so 
well intended and which we think has had a very salutary 
effect already, and much greater may be expected, should 
occasion the least jealousy that it was designed against 
the State of New York, with whom we wish to cultivate 
the utmost harmony and friendship. The occasion was 
this : we found an inclination prevailing amon^ all ranks 
in this and the neighbouring States daily to raise the 
prices of every necessary and convenience of life, tend- 
ing to the ruin and destruction of the country & army. 
This State producing many of those articles and notwith- 
standing their being reduced to a reasonable price by a 
law of this State, yet unless an embargo followed people 
from the neighbouring States not subject to our law, by 
advanced prices, would take out our whole produce, and 
send a great part of them out of the country, and it 
would have been impossible for the commissary to have 
supplied the army, especially with pork and beef; and 
all the West India goods, rum, sugar, &c, would soon 
have been carried out of this State, or raised the price 
to that degree which would have been productive of the 
greatest mischiefs here. You will easily see the force of 
these reasons, and not only this but every other State will 
derive special advantages by it, as the embargo law saves 
permits to be given by the Governor. It only gives your 
purchasers a little trouble to come to the Governor for 
permit, at the same time they save at least 50 p r cent in 


the price. When your people see the reason of the law 
and benefits arising by it, am persuaded, instead of creat- 
ing jealousies or giving disgust, it will give the greatest 
satisfaction. But this embargo prevents not any articles 
brought into this State by your merchants, or whatever 
is purchased in the other States, from carrying of it 
through this, and least any such construction should be 
made, there is care taken to give them a free passage, of 
which I have advised your Convention by letter. I have 
enclosed printed copies of our act for regulating prices 
and the embargo. We are sorry we cannot supply you 
with any more cannon. We have already granted all 
the cannon that can be spared from our foundery at 

Cap* Winslow comes with design to confer and agree 
on the subject of his and Cap* Lester's undertaking the 
carpenter's business at the northward. He will mention 
the tools he supposes necessary that were left the last 

I am, with great truth and regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 


Albany, Feb^ 17 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Captain Winslow delivered me your favor of 
the 11 th instant, enclosing the act of your State to regu- 
late the prices of commodities therein. I cannot see that 
it contains any thing that the inhabitants of this State 
can, with reason, complain of. The clamours are, how- 
ever, loud against the embargo, and I fear the conse- 
quences will be nfore fatal to cause in general than the 
evils intended to be cured thereby. I cannot help say- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


ing but that I am of opinion with every body here, who 
think that before an embargo which might so deeply affect 
other States was laid, those States ought to be consulted 
on the occasion, especially in our present situation of 
affairs. Indeed, I cannot see what advantage it is to be 
permitted a free passage through your State with goods 
purchased in any of y e other States where like laws pre- 
vail and the like embargo is laid, and indeed it is said 
that committees from the four New England States met 
to agree upon the law & embargo. 

I had just written you on the subject of the carpenters 
when Cap* Winslow arrived and was greatly surprised to 
be informed by him that he could not procure ship car- 
penters under nine shillings a day besides their provision 
and rum ; he, however, offered to raise them at eight 
shillings, which, as it is one third of a dollar more than 
the very high wages we gave last year, I have refused to 
give, & shall try to procure men in this State. 

Two people are arrived at Ticonderoga from Canada, 
one an officer in our service ; he relates that a consider- 
able body of Indians were collected at Chamblee, that he 
saw two parties of about an hundred each about half way 
between Ticonderoga and S fc Johns. They are not yet 
come to town. 

I am, with great esteem & respect, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant, 

Pii : Schuyler. 

P. S. Please to forward the enclosed by the first safe 

Hon ble Jon th Trumbull, Esq r , &c, &c. 



Lebanon, Feb^ 10 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Col Stewart, jour agent, has sent on from 
Providence a number of cannon under the care of M r 
Benj" Bartlett as far as Windham near me, where his 
teams are discharged, and requests me to supply said 
Bartlett with necessary monies, and ordered him a pro- 
vision of new teams, &c. 

I have in compliance with Col Stewart's request given 
the necessary directions for teams, &c, to recieve and 
carry on his loads as far as Canaan in this State, and fur- 

insiiuu mm iiuct^sui v eaSD iui ma cv t6clinS eXpGnCeS, anu 

will take care that the teamsters be paid so far, of which 
shall give you an account. 

I have wrote Samuel Forbes, Esq r , of Canaan, a gentle- 
man I may confide in, to recieve the loads there, and 
furnish a change of teams, and give him every necessary 
assistance, and to agree on the most reasonable terms he 
can for the expence and pay of the teams from thence 
to Albany, and directed him to draw on you for the 
same; which draught I doubt not will meet with your 

I am, Sir, with great respect & esteem, 

Your most obedient and most hble. servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

P. S. Least possibly Cap fc Forbes should be absent, 
have directed in such case to Tarbald Whitney, Fsq r , of 
said Canaan. 

To the Hon' 1 * Maj r Gen 1 Schuyler. 

1777.] ROGER SHERMAN. 2i> 


To The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Eso T , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut at Lebanon. P r Favour of DocV Jackson. 

Rhiladklphia, March -1 th , 1777. 

Honored Sir, — The Congress adjourned from Balti- 
more last Thursday to meet in this city yesterday^ but a 
sufficient number of members did not come in to proceed 
to business. It was found very inconvenient to set at 
so great a distance from the seat of war, especially at a 
time when a new army is forming. Orders have been 
lately^ issued to reinforce the army in New Jersy by 
calling in all the new recruits and the neighbouring mili- 
tia ; the reason sriven in the resolution is " The Congress 
being earnestly desirous to strengthen the army under 
General Washington's immediate command, so as to 
enable him not only to curb the enemy k prevent their 
ravaging the country & obtaining any supplies of provis- 
ion or forage, but by the Divine blessing totally to sub- 
due them before they can be reinforced." It appears to 
me that a vigorous exertion at this time might be at- 
tended with very happy consequences, if not totally put 
an end to the war, for by the best accounts the enemy 
are in great want of many necessaries, and much dispir- 
ited ; and tis thought if they were closely pursued with 
superior or equal numbers they would be obliged to sub- 
mit. Congress never gave any orders at any time not to 

* Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and a mem- 
ber of the Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States, was born in 
Ne-.vton, Mass., April 19. 1721, and died in New Haven, Conn., July 20, 1703. He was a 
man of great natural ability, who ro*e to distinction by his own exertions, and tilled with 
honor to himself and usefulness to the public many important offices, both before and after 
the Revolution. For main years he was one of the Delegates to Congress, as well as a Judge 
of the Supreme Court of Connecticut. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 
vol. v. pp. 501, 502. — Eds. 


risque a general battel, as was reported last fall, but 
always left that matter to the discretion of the com- 
manding officers. Congress has considered the resolu- 
tions of the Committees of the four New England States, 
approves of the measures for the defence of Rhode Isl- 
and, and those recommended for the support of their 
paper currencies, but do not think it advisable to issue 
bills on interest. I think that would have no good effect, 
it might interfere with the continental loans, & would in 
my opinion burthen the particular States with a useless 
expence. The evils occasioned by the fluctuating and 
exorbitant prices of things is very sensibly felt here. 
Congress has referred the consideration] of the doings 
of the New England governments as to fixing the prices 
of articles, to the consideration of the other States, rec- 
ommending to them to appoint commissioners to meet 
for that purpose & to adopt some plan to remedy the 
evils aforesaid. The Middle States from New York to 
Virginia inclusive are to meet the third Tuesday in this 
month. Congress has agreed to allow 6 p r cent p r annum 
on the moneies borrowed or to be borrowed on loan office 
certificates, being informed from Massachusetts and Phila- 
delphia that money could not be obtained on a lower 
interest, moneyed men being unwilling to lower their 
incomes when the prices of all necessaries are greatly 
increased. The best way to preserve the credit of the 
currency & render the price of articles stable is to raise 
the supplies for carrying on the war by taxes as far as 
possible, & the rest by loans. It seems to be the present 
opinion of the Congress that there be no further emission 
of bills than what is already ordered, if it can possibly be 
avoided, and that the most effectual measures be taken 
to support the credit of those already emited. Accord- 
ingly a tax is recommended to the several States, and as 
the rule to determine the quotas is not yet established by 
the legislatures of the several States (which is to be done 

1777.] KOGEK SHERMAN. 27 

by the Confederation) each State is called upon to raise 
as large a sum as circumstances will admit, with an en- 
gagement to allow interest at G p r cent for what any 
State may raise more than its just quota of the whole 
sum that shall be raised. 

I suppose the expences of the current year will not be 
less than twenty million dollars, but perhaps more, un- 
less the enemy's army should be subdued before they 
can be reinforced or a diversion given to the British 
arms by a war with France. I wish that I could furnish 
your Hon* with printed copies of the journals of Con- 
gress to this time ; but notwithstanding the utmost 
endeavours of Congress to have them printed here, they 
have by one excuse or other been delayed, sometimes 
the printers complain of the want of paper, at other 
times their workmen are obliged to go with the militia 
into the field. Orders have lately been given to the 
Committee to agree with some printer who will perform 
the work. 

Your Hon* has doubtless been informed of the promo- 
tions lately made of general officers in the army ; pre- 
vious to the choice the Congress resolved, "That in the 
appointment of general officers due regard shall be had 
to the line of succession, personal merit, and the number 
of troops raised or to be raised by the several States." 
We mentioned Brigadiers Wooster and Arnold as candi- 
dates for Major Generals on the two first principles, & 
Brigadier Wadsworth and Col Huntington, who were 
both recommended by General Washington, as fit persons 
for Brigadiers ; but the last principle prevailed to pass 
them all by — viz, That Connecticut had more general 
officers than in proportion to the number of troops fur- 
nished by that State. 

By a letter from M r Dean dated Oct r 25th, no authen- 
ticated account of these States having declared them- 
selves independent had been received by him, so that 


nothing material had been transacted by him, except 
some contracts for goods. We have accounts in the 
newspapers that Doct r Franklin arrived in France the 
7th of December last, but Congress has not received any 
letter from him since his arrival. By the best accounts 
from France & Spain they are disposed to favour our 

I wish to know your Hon 18 opinion what would be 
most agreable to our State as to providing for the sick 
in the army, whether to have it done by Congress or 
each State to provide for their own troops, & whether 
Doct r Turner would not be a suitable person to be recom- 
mended as Director of a Hospital on the east side of 
Hudson's River, or where ever else the N. E. troops may 
be stationed, or whether any other person in either of 
the N. E. States would be more suitable or acceptable for 
such an appointment. We were honored with the re- 
ceipt of one of your Honor's letters at Baltimore, but 
my papers not being here I cant refer to the date, 
wherein your Hon 1- mentions that it will be most agre- 
able to the other gentlemen delegates for two of them to 
come together. I think it would be well to have a fuller 
representation at this time, and as but two, & part of the 
time but one has attended for a considerable time past, if 
four should attend for some time, the expence would 
not be more than if three had attended the whole 

Doct r Jackson, one of the managers of the lottery of 
the United States, by whom I expect to send this, is on a 
journey through New England to dispose of the lottery 
tickets. He requested me to recommend to him suitable 
persons in Connecticut to receive a number of them for 
sale. I accordingly Recommended Thaddeus Burr, Esq r , 
in Fairfield County, Sam 11 Bishop, Esq r , in New Have[n] 
& John Lawrence, Esq r , in Ha[rtford] and took the liberty 
to refer him to your Hon 1 " to ad [vise?] him to suitable 


persons in the eastern counties. I me[ntioned ?] Doct r 
Smith for Litchfield County. 

I am, very respectfully, your 

Hon" obedient, humble servant, 

Roger Sherman. 

P. S. General Wolcott is well. 

Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : March 4 th , 1777. M r Roger Sherman. Came to hand the 21. 


To The Horible Jonathan Trumbull, Esquire, Governor of Connecti- 
cut, & c . Lebanon. Favoured by il/f Kirkland. 

State or Rhode Island & Providence Plantations, 
In General Assembly. 

Providence, March 7 th , 1777. 

Sir, ~ \Ye had great expectations that an effectual 
attempt would have been made upon the enemy at Rhode- 
Island, but the General having been disappointed in the 
Continental troops from the Massachusetts-Bay which he 
relied upon, hath rendered the prosecution of that en- 
terprize impracticable at present. This to every man 
who hath the honor of New England at heart must be 
extremely mortifying, as every necessary preparation for 
the expedition was made, & nothing was wanting but a 
sufficient number of men to attack less than 4000 of the 
enemy's troops posted, as it were, in the very heart of 
New-England. So far at present from making offensive 
war- we are apprehensive that we shall hardly be able to 
defend our own State ; for the 1000 Continental troops, 

* William Bradford, Deputy Governor of Rhode Island from Nov., 1775. to May, 
1778, was a descendant from Governo. Bradford of Plymouth ; he was born in Plympton, 
Mass., Nov. 4. 1720, and died in Bristol, R. I., July fl. 1808. He studied medicine and 
afterward law, in which latter profession he attained eminence, and also took an active and 
prominent part in public affairs. See Drake's Dictionary of American Biography, p. 115; 
Arnold's History of Rhode Island, vol. ii. p. 507. — Eds. 


which by the recommendation of the four States were 
to have been stationed here, are now ordered to another 
quarter ; New-Hampshire hath never supplied a single 
man, the Massachusetts have always been deficient above 
300 men, and the time for which the greater part of their 
troops were to serve expires to-morrow, and of the re- 
mainder in a few days after ; Col. Ely's regiment will 
march borne the 15 th instant and your other troops on the 
first of April ; and we cannot learn as yet that provision is 
made or making to replace any part of them, so that the 
defence of the country will be left to the forces of this 
little State. A task to which we are unequal. Upon 
the first alarm our whole militia including the alarm list 
was called out and did duty near a month, and one third 
part of them at a time have been in the field ever since, 
and are to be continued. You must be sensible, Sir, that 
no State can possibly support such exertions for any 
length of time ; not to mention the distresses brought 
upon many families by the heads of them being in the 
field, it is of the last importance that they should be 
relieved for the purposes of agriculture and the exercise 
of the necessary arts and trades for the comfortable sub- 
sistence of the people. We must therefore request you 
immediately to make provision to supply at least your 
quota of the troops agreed upon by the Committee. 

At the request and in behalf of the General Assembly, 
I am, with great esteem and regard, 

Your Honor's most obed*, humble servant, 

William Bradford. 

Hon'ble Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Gov r Bradford, 7 th March, 1777, de Troops. 

1777.] TIIADDEUS BURR. 31 


On puhlick service. To the lion 11 Jonathan Trumhull Esa r att 
Lebanon. P r exjiress. 

Fairfield, 8th March, 1777. 

S B , — We understand that General Silliman writes you 
by this conveyance, who lias undoubtedly given you an 
accurate account of the situation that we have been in 
for some days past ; that we have no occasion to repeat 
it. The steps he has taken for our defence at present 
are well approved of by the authority and Selectmen, 
and we hope your Honor and your Council of Safety will 
think proper to adopt them, or contrive some other way 
for our protection ; otherwise, we do not see but we must 
quit the town for the enemy to ransack and possess 
themselves of many valuable and necessary articles for 
the support of the war, — such as provisions and flax, of 
which last article this town greatly abounds. 

We are sensible that every seaport town in the State 
may think themselves intitled to the same protection. 
We wish they had it, tho we think our situation peculiar 
and demands a more pellicular attention and present 
reliefs than some others. 

We also inform your Honor that we are in want of 
powder, 'and think it necessary that we should have an 
order for five hundred weight of pistol powder, and five 
hundred weight of cannon to be placed in the town for 
use in our defence. Also (if to be had) for the use of 
the artillery, 12 port fires; 150 tubes filled; 50 cannis- 
ters of grape shot for 4 pounders. We earnestly in treat 
that your Honor would lay this before your Council 

* Thaddeus Burr was one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens of F itirricld, 
and wa.s among the principal sufferers when the town was burned by the British in 1779. 
He held many local oilices, and was frequently sent as a delegate to the Genera! Assembly. 
He died February 19, 1801, aged 65 years. See Miss Perry's Inscriptions in the Old Bury- 
ing Ground of Fairfield, p. 38. — Eds. 


of Safety, and doubt not every prudent method will be 
taken for our protection. 

We are, with due respect and esteem, 

Your Honor's most ob*, hum serv ta , 
signed p order, 

Thad. Burr, Selectman. 

To Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Thad 9 Burr, Esq r , de attack on Fairfield. 8 th March, 1777. 


Lebanon, 10 th March, 1777. 

Sir, — I have the favor of yours dated 17 th ult° p r Cap* 
Winslow, by which I observe you have dismissed the 
expectation of carpenters from this State. It is a matter 
much to be lamented that the insatiable desires of the 
people should run every thing to such extravagant rates 
as prevail at this day. 

Since the receipt of your last I have the honor of a 
letter from President Hancock, enclosing the doings of 
Congress on the proceedings of the committee from the 
four New England States for the defence of Rhode Island, 
measure for preventing the depreciating the currency, 
and plan for regulating the price of labour, manufactures, 
&c.j with resolutions of Congress wherein among other 
things they have referred to the consideration of the 
other States the matter of regulating prices, &c, and 
recommend to them adopting such expedients as they 
think most likely to remedy the evils arising from their 
present fluctuating & exorbitant state. Your people seem 
principally alarmed at the embargo act. You will readily 
perceive that without that the good effects expected from 
the Regulating Act might be easily frustrated, and its 
force in a great measure abated, if the people were under 
no restraint in carrying from among us the regulated 

1777.] PniLIP SCHUYLER. 33 

articles. The ill effects of the embargo we hope to pre- 
vent by itself being under regulation, and subject to the 
Governor's permission in certain cases. 

In a letter from his Excellency General Washington, 
recieved two days ago is the following paragraph : " Some 
time ago Gen 1 Schuyler wrote to me and informed me 
that there were a great number of arms returned into 
stores in Albany, wanting repairs, &c." In consequence 
of the foregoing you will please, if the arms are not 
otherwise disposed of, to send me four hundred stands to 
the nearest place in this State to me that they can be sent 
by any return teams of this or Massachusetts State, of 
which I suppose there are numbers daily passing. You 
will be so good as to inform me whatever orders you give 
respecting them that I may take the further necessary 

Eleven sail of the enemy's ships have made their ap- 
pearance off New London harbour, are now lying in 
Fisher's Island sound, have landed some troops on the 
island and pitched their tents. Their design is variously 
conjectured. Some think they intend securing to them- 
selves the harbour of New London, I rather think they 
are in pursuit of fresh provisions and wood. 

I am, &c. 

J T L. 

Hon ble Maj r General Schuyler. 


Albany, March 16 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Your favor of the 10 th March I have this mo- 
ment received. 

That our people are alarmed at the embargo act is not 
without reason ; they severely, very severely, feel the 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


effects of it. Sugar is now at forty dollars p r hundred 
here. But whence arises this exorbitant price? Evi- 
dently because it is cheaper for an inhabitant of this 
State to give that price than to ride perhaps two hun- 
dred miles to get a permit to purchase it in one of the 
eastern States. In the course of last winter M r Kip & 
M r Knickerbacker of Schactihook had purchased four of 
five sled loads of rum, sugar, salt, &c, in the Massa- 
chusetts for their own use and that of their neighbours 
who had jointly agreed to bear the expence. When they 
went to bring away those things they were not permitted, 
returned without, and then procured a recommendation 
from M r Avery, on which they were permitted to carry 
off their effects. Judge, Sir, of the extra expence these 
people were put to. It is probable that if the Conven- 
tion of this State had been applied to they would have 
concurred in the prices established by the eastern Legis- 
latures on the enumerated articles, and the necessity of 
the embargo would have been superceded, and the resent- 
ment which the people in this State feel on the occasion 
(which cannot fail of being more or less detrimental to 
the general cause) would not have taken place. At all 
times it behoves every Legislature to act upon the broad 
principle of promoting the good of the whole. If the 
Legislatures of the four New England Colonies made 
that the basis of their common act, it is only to be 
lamented that experience has evinced the inefficacy of the 

The arms mentioned in the extract from General 
Washington's letter are still here, and still unrepaired. 
Col° Baldwin who went down last fall had orders to raise 
a company of armourers, who were to have been here on 
the first of February at farthest. He has long since in- 
formed me that they were on the march, but I have not 
yet seen one, and I begin to apprehend they will not 
come. Although I am very confident that more arms 


will be wanted in this department than we have in store, 
yet, as it is my duty to obey his Excellency's orders, I 
have directed the store-keeper to put up one hundred 
stand, and to forward them to you without delay. 
I am, Sir, with great esteem, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

Pn: Schuyler. 

Hon ble Jon th Trumbull, Esq r 5 &c. 


To The Ro?i hle Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , at Lebanon. P r M r Brown. 

Philadelphia, March 21st, 1777. 

Sir, — I was honored with your favour of the 10th 
instant by M r Brown. Nothing very material has oc- 
curred here since my last which your Hon r had not 
received when M r Brown came away. Letters have been 
received from D r Franklin of the 8th & loth of December 
last. He arrived the 6th of December, having had a 
passage of thirty days. The vessel he sailed in took two 
prizes on her passage which were carried into France, 
but as they cant be condemned there they will probably 
be ransomed. Accounts from France are that there is 
some probability of a war between France & England, 
but there is no certainty of that matter. General Green 
arrived here yesterday from head quarters, General Gates 
is also in this city, and plans are forming for the next 
campaign. I hope our army will soon be recruited so as 
to be able to subdue the enemy's. Enclosed is a copy of 
the resolutions of Congress on the doings of the New Eng- 
land convention. No opinion was given on what respected 
the additional bounty to the soldiers. M r Hillegas re- 
mains yet at Baltimore. Your Hon" letter to him being 
on the public service Gen 11 Wolcott and I thought advis- 
able to open, not knowing but that it might contain some 


matter proper for the Treasury Board to transact and that 
might require dispatch. I shall take care to forward it by 
the first safe conveyance. I forgot to mention in my last 
the affair of the cannon which Congress requested the loan 
of; some gentlemen seemed much surprized at the prices 
of 70 & 80 pounds per ton, as some had been purchased 
& more engaged here at <£40 this currency per ton. I 
understand the Salisbury cannon are not so heavy as 
these ; therefore the difference of price is not so great as 
was imagined. When it was proposed to borrow them, 
we represented that they were wanted for the defence of 
the State of Connecticut, and if lent others must be im- 
mediately provided in their stead, therefore we conceived 
Congress would not think such a requisition reasonable, 
but lest giving so high a price should make a bad prece- 
dent & raise the price here, it was resolved to apply to 
borrow them. We gave as a reason why they could not 
be afforded cheaper, that the furnace was rebuilt & put 
in blast at a great expence for the purpose of casting 
some cannon for the use of that State, the scarcity 
of w r ood, the high price of coal & the distance it was 
carted, &c. 

Your Honor mentions that Col Dyer and Col Wil- 
liams chuse to come to Congress together, which will re- 
quire some agreement. I have not heard Gen. Wolcott 
mention any thing about returning home soon. I was 
last from home, but am willing to be relieved at anytime 
when it may best suit the other gentlemen to attend. 
I am, with great truth & regard, 

Your Honor s obedient, humble servant. 

Roger Suermax. 

The Hon ble Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: R. Sherman, E^q r ; Phil% March 21 st , 1777. De D r Frank- 
lin's arriv 1 , cannon at Salisbury, returns home, &c. — - Kec d 30 {h . 

1777.] NICHOLAS COOKE. 37 


(On Public Service) To the Honorable Jonathan Trumbull Esq. t 
Governor of the State of Connecticut at Lebanon. Nich. Cooke. 

Providence, April 8, 1777. 

Sir, — The defenceless state of this Government con- 
strains me to renew my applications to you, for your 
quota of the army necessary to keep the enemy from 
penetrating the country this way. 

The troops upon Rhode-Island consist of about 4000 
men. We have in this State 450 militia from Connec- 
ticut, and 330 from Massachusetts, the time of the latter 
being up on the 10th instant. The two Continental bat- 
talions raising here are, by absolute order from General 
Washington, to march this day to the westward, or to 
enter the hospital for inoculation. All the men in that 
part of the State yet in our possession, fit for duty, do not 
exceed 7000, who having been harassed and fatigued with 
severe and long duty upon the shores, and the season in 
which to prevent a famine it is necessary to apply to hus- 
bandry being arrived, make it impossible to assemble a 
sufficient force, without the neighbouring States furnish- 
ing their proportions. I am therefore at the request of 
the Council of War to importune you in the most urgent 
manner immediately to send us the stipulated quota of 
Connecticut troops. 

I am, with great esteem, 
Your Honor's most obed fc and most humble ser fc . 

Nich 3 Cooke. 

Hon. Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Gov 1 " Cook, de our quota stipulated. Troops at Rhode Island, 
4,000. In that State 7,000. Rec d 9 th instant. 

* Nicholas Cooke, born Feb. 3, 1717, died Sept. 14, 1782, was Deputy Governor of Rhode 
I'land from May to Oct., 1.75, and Governor from the latter date to May, 1778. See Ap- 
pltton's Dictionary of American Biography, vol. i. p. 721. — Eds. 



On Fublick Service. Honble Governor Trumbull at Lebanon, 
Connecticut. 3? post. 

Providence, 15 th April, 1777. 

Sir, — I conclude jour Honour has doubtless heard of 
the fleet which sailed last Wednesday from the harbour 
of Newport, consisting of thirty three sail of square 
rigg d vessels and three tenders ; they stood for the west- 
ward, but on Saturday last, lay between Tower Hill and 
Long Island ; — we have known for some time, that those 
ships were haul d off, and have daily expected their sailing, 
and also that a large proportion of the troops at Rhode 
Island would have gone off with those ships ; but we find 
ourselves much mistaken in that. There have since the 
sailing of the ships, seven of the inhabitants of Newport 
made their escape, and they all agree that no troops em- 
barked in the fleet, but only a few artillery men and some 
late promoted officers : these refugees inform that the 
officers at Newport are making every preparation for 
gardening, &c, that it is generally concluded at Newport, 
that the enemy design to keep their possession at that 
place : and I think the troops not going with the above 
fleet is a circumstance that affords great reason for that 
opinion. Several of those people also tell us that the 
enemy will doubtless make some excursions upon the 
main soon to plunder ; and I think we have great reason 
to expect it, as our army here is so extremely weak ; not 
more than 14 hundred by the returns at the extent, and 
they necessarily very much scattered, and at great dis- 
tance, one part from another : there is not a single man 

* Joseph Spencer was born in East Haddam, Conn., in 1714, and died there Jan. 13, 1789. 
At the outbreak of the War of the Involution he was appointed by Congress one of the eight 
brigadier-general?, and the next year was made a major-general. He served in the expe- 
dition against Rhode Island, but having been censured on ao-ount of its failure he resigJMsd 
from the army in 1778. Subsequently he was a member of digress, and for many years 
a member of the Council of Connecticut. See Drake's Dictionary of American Biography, 
p. 855; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. v. pp. 623, G29. — Eds. 

1777.] JOSEPn SPENCER. 30 

here from the Massachusetts; from Connecticut no more 
than four hundred and thirty six. 

The lower House of this State, the lower House of the 
Assembly of this State, before this would have deter- 
mined to have kept up in this army, from this State, none 
but those they call fifteen months men, the whole of 
which does not amount to live hundred. They complain 
that the neighbouring States cruelly neglect them ; and 
so it seems would suffer themselves to be destroyed, that 
they might charge their destruction to the negligence of 
their neighbours. 

I must speak in praise of the conduct of the Governor 
and Council of War here, I think they have done as much 
as could be expected of them, to keep up their proportion 
of troops, all things considered. 

Knowing the extraordinary exertions of the State of 
Connecticut, from time to time, in sending troops to every 
part for defence of the United States, and hearing that of 
late a number of the militia are ordered to the westward 
from thence ; it is with great reluctance, (and as I ap- 
prehend from absolute necessity) that I trouble your 
Hon r with this disagreable detail : this part of the coun- 
try is beyond dispute in great danger at least of being in 
part laid waste ; and I own that I feel for my own char- 
acter. I am loth to have the name of a command here, for 
no other purpose than to bear the blame of any disaster 
that may happen in this part of the country : I suppose 
by the custom of the world, in case the country should be 
laid waste in these parts meerly for want of men, the de- 
struction would be charged to my account chiefly, while 
at the same time I am very sure the deficiency of the 
army has been occasioned by no neglect in me. 
I am, Sir, with due respect, 

Y r Hon" most obed*, humble serv'. 

Honble Gov r Trumbull. Jo 8 SpEXCER. 

Indorsed: 15 th April, 1777. Maj r Gen 1 Spencer, de Ships gone from X. 
Port Troops. Fears. Kecd. lG th , P. M. 



(On the Public Service) To Jonathan Trumbull, Ju?i r , Esq. Pay 
Master General for the Northern Deijartmcnt^ now at Lebanon. 

Albany, April 18, 1777. 
Dear Sir, — Yesterday I received yours of 31 ult. 
I wait with some impatience to know M r Winslow's and 
my own doom ; he has not yet returned ; have received 
several letters from him he will be here as soon as the 
lakes are passable, which will be very soon. General 
Gates arived here yesterday ; his Aid de Camps sa} r com- 
mander in Chief in the N. Department. I waited on him 
this morning ; he thinks matters Lave been carried on 
sloio ; the money is all gone, and what is the con- 
sequence ? Our ammunition & artillery are here yet, 
and our stores are empty. Where is M r Trumbull? i he 
will be here, Sir, when the money arives, sooner than 
that, he wrote me, he thought was unnecessary ' That is 
true, he answered ; but the money will be here very soon, 
and do you write M r Trumbull that I desire he would come 
here as quick as possible. I could therefore wish you 
here before the General goes for Ty— . If he commands, 
'twill be of importance that there should be proper orders 
left at this place, which never can be clone so well with- 
out your presence. The first payment to the new raised 
army will be difficult and require much attention and 

* John Pierce, Jr., was a Deputy Paymaster in the army, under Jonathan Trum- 
bull, Jr., Paymaster-General for the Northern Department. He died in New York City in 
July, 1T88. See Drake's Dictionary of American Biography, p. 718. — Eds. 

t Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., second son of the War Governor, was born in Lebanon, 
Conn., March 20, 17-10, and graduated at Harvard College with high rank in 1759. At the 
breaking out of the War of the Revolution he was appointed Paymaster-General of the 
Northern Department. In April, 1781, he was made private secretary to General Washing- 
ton. In 1790 he was chosen a Representative in Congress, and in the following year lie 
became Speaker of the Ho-'se, which office he filled until 1794, when he was elected to the 
United States Senate. Tn 1796 he was chosen Lieutenant-Governor of the State, and in 
1798 Governor, holding that office by annual election until bis death, Aug. 7, 1S09. See 
Hine's Early Lebanon, pp. 93-95. — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN PIERCE, JR. 41 

care. We have a book contain* almost a quire of Gen- 
eral Orders about it. 

Lake Champlain is open. Lake George is not. It is 
surprizing the troops do not come in faster. Commodore 
Wynkoop writes, that a number of boats with Canadians 
& Regulars were seen somewhere near Gylleland's Creek ; 
that our whole force is not more than fourteen hundred ; 
he very much fears that Ty. will be lost before the gar- 
rison get in. (I hope these, will prove like the hay boat 
of last November.) 

Thro' this county we have had a conspiracy, — three 
regiments were in part offisered and many of these were 
recruiting, their design was, (for which purpose they took 
an oath) to be prepared and ready when How came up 
the river, then desolate the country, and join him from 
all parts. They thought that a sudden defection of so 
large a number, who would be magnified by report, would 
strike a damp to the country & prevent them coming in 
to the assistance of our army, as well as give spirit to 
and recruit the enemy ; but some of them, whose hearts 
God had toutched, revealed the matter just when it was 
ripe for detection ; and we have one Brig d Gen., a Colo., 
& several Captains in custody, with about seventy others. 
The influence of bribery & fear have had this surprising 
effect around us, but a few very vigorous blows and im- 
partial tryals will convince them, by releasing the inno- 
cent, of our justice; and condemning the guilty, of our 
spirit and resolution. We shall not want General Gates 
endeavor towards hanging the greater part. 

Since I have been here, I have been kept pretty in- 
dustrous ; but the business has prospered in our hands. 
The prize money has been some trouble, the returns of 
our Court of Inquiry being extreemely incorrect. I wish 
you every happiness, and am, dear Sir, 

Yours sincerely, 

John Pierce, Jux. 


My money lias been gone about a month ; since which 
I have borrowed considerable. 

Indorsed by Gov. Trumbull : lS th April, 1777. M r John Pierce to J. 
Trumbull, jun r , Pay Master Gen 1 , de Empty Chest, General Gates, Con- 
spiracy, &e. Ree d 1 st -May, 1777. 


Morristown, 19 th April, 1777. 

Hon ed Sir, — I arrived here last Tuesday evening, 
after a pretty good journey, the season considered, & 
without any material accident or adventure. I have the 
happiness of finding His Excellency Gen 1 Washington 
perfectly recovered from his late illness, which was very 
severe, tho' not of long continuance. It filled every one 
about him who were suffered to know his indisposition, 
with the most fearfull apprehensions ; his Lady is with 
him, as healthy & agreeable as formerly. I have not yet 
learned the geography of the country well eno' to under- 
take a description of our situation, nor do I know any 
more of our strength than before I left N". Eng d . I can 
only say, I wish I could see some more men here about. 
Col Butler & his party came in yesterday to the joy of 
all, I wish our men may be pushed on, as fast as pos- 
sible ; I would not fear to ensure you all the enemy off 
the continent again very soon, if Gen 1 Washington had 
men. Every moment's delay endangers the loss of a 
golden opportunity which no future time can afford us. 
If anything can be done to forward the men on, no ex- 
ertion should be want g . We have daily skirmishes, & 

* Joseph Trumbull was the Governor's eldest son, and was born in Lebanon March 
11,. 1737. In April, 1775, he was appointed by the Connecticut Assembly Commissary- 
General of the State; and by Congress shortly afterward the n'rst Commissary-General of 
the American army. His health broke down under the strain of this difficult and im- 
portant office, and he died at home, July 23, 1778. See Iline's Ancient Lebanon, pp. i)3, 
9-L — Lds. 


ever favourable, except last Sunday when Gen 1 Lincoln 
escaped narrowly, with his whole party, about 500, from 
the ill conduct of some of his out guards who were militia 
& run from their posts without even giving the alarm, & 
so left him to be surprised & surrounded. However tho' 
he quitted his post, & Gen 1 Cornwallis breakfasted there, 
yet he return'd & dined at home, with a reinforcement, 
& still remains there. ^Ye have hourly prisoners & de- 
serters who all agree that the enemy's troops are very 
sickly, have bad provisions, & in general discontented, 
& the forreigners universally disgusted ; the reg* of Wal- 
deckers that came out about 700 strong, are reduced to 
about 300, & every man of them will come off when he 
has an opportunity — this & sickness are tho't Gen 1 How's 
reasons for lying still. All are at a loss which way he 
designs to go. This week we supposed the matter cer- 
tain, from a number of ships being in Delaware Bay, but 
they are gone again ; whether they will go to Phil 8 or 
up the North River I can't say, but wish for men to 
oppose & prevent their going either way. I really pity 
Gen 1 Washington when I see how much he is chagrined 
at the loss of such an opportunity, a loss to him & his 
country which can't but affect him & every man who has 
feelings for his country & posterity. There are con- 
siderable numbers in from the southward, but short, very 
much short, of what ought to be here. Some few of our 
people who came on with Col Butler were not innoc- 
ulated; they were innoculated last evening; this country 
is full of the small pox. An in tire new regulation has 
taken place in the Hospital upon a liberal plan, which, 
if well executed, I believe will take away all former 
occasions of complaint. Doct r Fogue & D r Turner are 
provided for at 5 doll" each p day & 6 rations ; the Di- 
rector Gen 11 , D r Sbippen, Jun r , has 6 doll" k 9 rations. I 
hear Congress are £oin<>; thro' a general regulation of all 
the great Departments of the army, & expect mine in its 


turn will undergo the same. I wish it ; it wants it as 
much as any of them all. 

I beg my best respects to mama & all the family & 
friends, & am, Hon rd Sir, 

Your dutifull son, 

Jos: Trumbull. 

I have forwarded Bro r Jack's letter to M r Lovell, — 

imediately on my arrival here. I have not heard from 
Phil a since my arrival. Gen 1 Gates is gone to Ty. Gen 1 
Schuyler is at Phil a . 

Hon Gov r Trumbull. 


To The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, E$<f, Governor of the State of 
Connecticut, Lebanon. 

Philadelphia, April 23 d , 1777. 

Honored Sir, — We received your Hon rs letter of the 
16th instant by M r Brown. Your letter to Congress was 
also received & read yesterday, & referred to the Com- 
mittee for Foreign Affairs. Nothing very remarkable has 
occurred here since my last, nor any later advices received 
from France. The recruiting service makes but slow 
progress in this State, the battalions not half full ; in Vir- 
ginia about two thirds of their number are inlisted. In 
the Carolinas, I hear their numbers are near compleated, 
but many are prevented by the small pox from joyning 
the army. Congress w r as not disposed to censure the 
Eastern States for giving additional bounties, supposing 
them to be the best judges of the expediency of the 
measure. The Committees of the Middle States did 
nothing as to regulating prices, they being equally di- 
vided in opinion respecting the matter. The prices of 
almost all kindi of articles are very high here. The 
Commissary General arrived here yesterday, and a corn- 

1777.] ROGER SHERMAN. 4 

mittee is appointed to confer with him & consider what 
further regulations ought to be made in his department. 
The journals of Congress are not yet published further 
than to the first of last May. A new printer is employed 
to bring them up to this time from the tenth of May, 
1775. I furnished your Hon r with the journals from Sep- 
tember to the last of December, 1775, last fall. I now 
send the proceedings from the first of January to the last 
of April, 1776 ; the printer will compleat the rest as fast 
as possible. 1 have sent several of the late papers, which 
contain some resolutions of Congress, and particularly the 
regulation of the Hospital. 

Making cannon is an object that deserves attention, as 
several of the frigates are detained only for want of guns. 
Those made at Salisbury are allowed to be of the best 
kind, and tho' they are higher by the ton than those made 
here, yet I have heard it observed the} r are not dearer on 
the whole, being much lighter. I hope the two delegates 
your Hon r mentions will attend Congress by the first of 
May, as I want to return home. I am sorry there is 
occasion to call the militia to joyn the army. I think it 
would be unnecessarv if the men inlisted were collected 
together. What is recommended respecting Rhode-Island, 
it was hoped, would not detain the militia for a very long 
time after their assembling. I am glad to hear of the suc- 
cess of the Brigg Defence. I will take the first opportu- 
nity to transmit to your Hon r copies of all petitions of the 
several States heretofore made to the King, that I can ob- 
tain. Congress has resolved to appoint three Commission- 
ers to reside in or near Boston, with power to adjourn to 
any other part of New England, to superintend the build- 
ing, fitting out, and manning the ships of war ordered to 
be built there, & to provide naval magazines, & generally 
to direct the naval affairs in New England subject to the 
orders of the Marine Committee. A recommendation 
passed yesterday to the several States to furnish Congress 


with their laws, and to send them to eacli of the other 
States that they may be acquainted with each other's laws; 
also to communicate any new discoveries they may make 
in the art of war or other useful arts. By a letter from 
General Heath to the Board of War it appears that the 
most of the powder made in the Massachusetts Bay is bad 
and not to be depended on, & that they have a large quan- 
tity of it. I hope the Inspectors of Powder in Connec- 
ticut will take sufficient care that what is manufactured 
there is good, as the safety of the State depends on its 
being good. The price of board is increased here about 
one third, & horse-keepihg double. There must be a large 
quantity of paper money in circulation while the war lasts. 
I wish a spirited effort might soon be made to subdue 
the enemy's force now in the country. General Wolcott 
is in a good state of health ; he saw your Hon" letter, and 
desired me to write to your Hon 1 " what was needful, but 
as we had nothing very important to write thought it un- 
necessary for both to subscribe the letter. 
I am, with great esteem & regards, 

Your Honor's obedient, humble servant. 

Koger Sherman. 

The Honorable Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 23 d April, 1777 Hon Roger Sherman, Esq , de recruitiug 
service in Pensyl a , Carolinas, Virginia. Middle States divided on affix* 
prices. Journal, a l 8t Jan* to 1 st May, 1776. Two delegates requested. 
Copies of petitions from the several States. 


To The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut, at Hartford. F M r Brown. 

Philadelphia, May 14 th , 1777. 

Honored Sir, — Your letter to Congress was received 
and read, and then committed to the Board of War. I 
am sorry to hear that the militia are no better armed in 

17 77.] ROGER SHERMAN. 47 

this time of clanger. I believe there are no Continental 
arms to spare at present ; more are daily expected. If 
any are due to the State of Connecticut, it would be host 
to send a particular account of the number, and request 
Congress that they be replaced as soon as any shall arrive. 
Congress has lately been employed in regulating the sev- 
eral departments of the army, that the business may be 
properly conducted and frauds and abuse prevented. The 
Articles of Confederation have several times come under 
consideration, but not much progress made therein, lihode 
Island is not represented. M r Ellery's time expired last 
week & he has no information of being reappointed. Let- 
ters as late as the loth of April received from our agent 
in Martineco inform that our trade receives all the protec- 
tion that could be desired from the Gov 1 of the French 
Islands, but no certain accounts whether a war will soon 
take place between France & Britain. 

Tour Hon 1 has probably seen the late act of Parliament 
for sending the Americans to England & detaining; them 
in prison without bail or mainprize till the first of Jan y , 
1778. The best way to relieve our people who may fall 
into their hands is, by a vigorous exertion to get as many 
of theirs as possible into our custody, as nothing but the 
fear of retaliation will induce them to regard the laws of 

The gentleman who gave information of Governor 
Franklin's misbehaviour, and the inattention of our Gov- 
ernment to prevent it, seemed displeased that any part of 
the information w T as contradicted by your Hon 1 " 3 letter.* I 

* Congress, on the 22d of April, 1777, " Resolved that Governor Trumbull be informed 
that Congress have received undoubted information that William Franklin, late Governor 
of the State of New Jersey, and now a prisoner in Connecticut, has since his removal to 
timt State sedulously employed himself in dispersing among the inhabitants the protections 
of Ix>rd Howe and General Howe, st : led the King's Commissioners for granting pardons, 
&c, and otherwise aided and abetted the enemies of the United States : And that he be re- 
quested forthwith to order the said William Franklin, Esquire, into close confinement, pro- 
hibiting to him the use of pen, ink, and paper, or the access of any person or persons but such 
as are properly licensed for that purpose by Governor Trumbull." (Journals of Congress from 


have no doubt but his information was good as to Gov* 
Franklin's misconduct. As to our Government being in- 
formed of it, he says that he told Gen 11 Parsons of it, and 
that M r Burr of Fairfield was also informed of it. M r Duer 
is zealously engaged to suppress Tories. The Congress 
promoted Colonels Huntington and Head to the rank of 
Brigadiers General on the 12 th instant, the first on Gen- 
eral Washington's request. I wish for leave to return 
home for a short time at least ; but it wont do to leave 
the State of Connecticut unrepresented. I hope other 
delegates will soon arrive. 

I am, with great esteem [&] regard, 

Your Hon" obedient, humble servant, 

Roger Sherman. 

Hon bk Gov r Trumbull. 


To The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut, at Hartford. 

Philadelphia, May 16 th , 1777. 

Sir, — The President detained the express 'till to day, 
waiting for the Board of War to report on your Hon" let- 
ter. The Board took it into consideration this morning, 
but did not think it necessary to make any report to Con- 
gress on the contents, as the resolution of Congress, passed 
last December, authorizing your Hon 1 to retain two regi- 
ments for the defence of the State until further order, has 
not been superceded. Cap 1 John Langdon has informed 
the Board of War that he had sent about 3000 arms to 
Connecticut to furnish the continental [forces?] raised in 
that State. All the residue of the arms that were in the 
hands of the agents in the Eastern States are ordered to 

Jan. 1. 1777, to Jan. 1, 1778, vol. iii. p. 151.) In accordance with this resolve, the Governor 
and Council of Safely of Connecticut ordered Franklin to be conveyed forthwith by the 
Sheriff of Hartford County under proper guard to Litchfield gaol, and there contined. (Pub- 
lic Records of Connecticut, Oct.. 1776, to Feb., 1773, p. 217.) — Eds. 

1777.] HORATIO GATES. 49 

be sent to Springfield, where a laboratory is ordered to be 
erected, and the Board have agreed upon sending an order 
to the store keeper there to furnish as many more as are 
necessary for equipping the troops in Connecticut upon 
proper muster rolls being produced to him. Letters were 
this day received from France as late as the 25 th of March, 
but no material news ; they related chiefly to commerce. 
London papers were received mentioning the battles of 
Trenton and Princetown last winter, which were humili- 
ating to the ministry ; they applaud the conduct of our 
Generals. An extract of a letter from London mentions 
that the enemies forces are to be removed from Canada 
to joyn General Howe's army, but we ought not to give 
so much credit to it as to alter our plans for defence in 
the northern department. 

I am, Sir, with great regard, 

Your Hon rs obedient, humble servant. 

Roger Shekmax. 

P. S. I should think it advisable to represent to Gen- 
eral Washington the necessity of having the battalions 
stationed in Connecticut. When the Board of War had 
the matter under consideration the resolution of Congress 
was not before them, but they supposed it was at General 
Washington's option to call for the troops when he might 
think proper. E. S. 

The Hon ble Governor Trumbull. 


Albany, 21 st May, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — I am sorry to acquaint your Excellency, 
that the army in this department is likely to be very much 

* Horatio Gates was born in Maldon, Essex, England, in 1723, and at an early aire 
entered the British army, serving in America, the West Indies, and Ireland. In 1769 be 
retired from the army, and returning to America married and settled in Virginia. On the 



distress'd for want of tents, and blankets ; most of the 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire men are arrived at 
Ticonderoga without a provision of either. I am aston- 
ished at General Heath pushing so many men from Bos- 
tori, so totally unprovided, — as if the necessary equip- 
ment for a soldier grew in the woods. The ordnance 
stores sent from Boston last February are not half ar- 
rived, owing to the carters leaving their loads at different 
stages by the way, as their villainy, laziness, or other 
reason suggested. I have in vain sent messengers every 
way to find the stores, but with the worst success ; I 
must therefore beg the favour of your Excellency, to 
send a copy of this letter to the General Court at Bos- 
ton, and entreat their aid, to supply the pressing and 
immediate wants of this army. M r Chace, the Deputy 
Quarter Master General, who had the care of the stores 
ordered from Boston, has a list of the deficiences, sent 
him yesterday by express. Two thousand tents, an[d] 
ten thousand blankets are necessary to supply our wants. 
It is absolutely necessary that all carriages coming to 
the northern army with stores should come by way of 
Albany ; as the roads are impracticable by any other 

I am, Sir, Your Excellency's 

Most obedient humble servant, 

Horatio Gates. 

His Excellency Governour Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Gen 1 Gates Letter, 21 st May, 1777, de Soldiers' Equipment. 

breaking out of the war he offered his services to Congress, and was made a Brigadier 
General and afterward Major General. Having superseded Schuyler in command of the 
northern army, he had the good fortune to receive the surrender of Bur^oyne at Saratoga. 
Subsequently he was appointed President of the Board of War, and was implicated in the 
Conway Cabal to supplant Washington, Failing in this, he withdrew from active service; 
but in June, 1778, he was appointed to the command of the army in North Carolina, and 
two months later he was totally defeated in the battle of Camden. This substantially ended 
his military career. In 1700 he removed from Virginia to New York, where he died April 
10, 1806. See Appleton's r-ycloprcdia of American Biography, vol. ii. pp. 614, 615; Dic- 
tionary of National Biography, Supplement, vol. ii. pp. 269-272. — Eds. 

1777.] ROGER SHERMAN, 51 


To The Honorable Jonathan Trumbull Esq r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut, at Lebanon. 

Philadelphia, May 26 th , 1777. 

Honored Sir, — I was honored with your favour of the 
18 th instant, which I received on the 24 th , after Congress 
adjourned. I have not seen M'Duer since ; but I never 
heard from him or any other person any such imputation 
on any member of Assembly as your Hon* 'mentions. I 
shall enquire into the matter. 

I transmitted your Hon r a copy of the resolution of 
Congress concerning the two battalions to be stationed 
in Connecticut in my last. 

The Board of War has sent orders to the Commissary 
of Military Stores at Springfield to supply the Connecti- 
cut troops with arms and accoutrements, upon authentic 
muster rolls being produced to him. As to the field 
pieces and other stores for the use of the State, General 
Washington is best able to determine whether they can 
be spared. By the best accounts from New York the 
enemy paid pretty dear for their excursion to Danbury, 
tis reported here that Governor Tryon is dead of his 
wounds.* I imagine they wont be fond of making another 
incursion into Connecticut, unless they could have some 
greater object in view than any that I know of ; however, 
it is best to be prepared for them, Tis most likely they 
will pursue the plan of joyning their two armies by the 
way of Hudson's River, if they have a sufficient force. At 
present our army in New Jersy is superior to theirs. 
Some capital stroke may be struck there soon. We have 
no great expectation of their coming to this City. Gen- 

* This was a false report. Governor Tryon died in London in 1788. — Eds. 


eral Schuyler is here. Congress has ordered him to the 
Northern Department. The Eastern States were of 
opinion that it would best promote the service for him 
to have been with the Commander in Chief, & that would 
probably have been carried if Rhode Island had been 
represented. Some are apprehensive that his taking 
command in the Northern Department may interfere 
with General Gates's plans, and be prejudicial to the ser- 
vice at a time when the campaign is expected to be 

The Commissary General is here. Congress is about 
to make some new regulations in that department. 

A committee is appointed to consider what honors are 
due to the memory of General Wooster.* Major Gen- 
eral Arnold is here. Congress has ordered an elegant 
horse properly caparisoned to be presented to him. 
I am, with great esteem & regard, 

Your Hon rs obedient, humble servant, 

Roger Sherman. 

Governor Trumbull. 

P. S. I saw an account in the New Haven paper that 
one Griswold was executed as a traitor and spy by the 
sentence of a Court Martial. If he was an inhabitant of 
the State, & not of the army, I think he ought to have 
been tryed before the Superior Court. The resolution 
of Congress for the punishment of spies respects only 
persons who are not inhabitants of any of the United 
States, or under the protection of their laws. We cant 
be too careful of military incroachments. It is easy to 
accuse any person with being a spy, & so put his life in 
the power of a Court Martial if that is allowed. The 
case of Molesworth who was tryed and executed in this 
city was approved by Congress, but it was from neces- 

* General DavM Wooster was wounded in the defence of Panbury, April 27, 1777, and 
died on the 2d of May. Congress ordered a monument to be erected to his memory. See 
Journals of Congress, Jan. 1, 1777-Jan. 1, 1778, vol. iii. p. 239. — Eds. 

!<"'•] ANDREW ELIOT. 53 

sifey, because there was no Civil Courts established in 
this State. p t g^ 

Indorsed : 26 th May, 1777. Hon* Roger Sherman, Esq', de M' Duer'a 

imputation on members of our Assembly; Supply Connecticut troops with 
arms ; Field pieces referred to Gen 1 Washington ; Gov Tryon dead ; our 
army in the Jerseys, superior to Howe's. Heed. l tl June, ves. 


Boston, June 5, 1777. 

Honorable Sir,— My son, who hath the honor to be 
employed by you in the service of the State of Connec- 
ticut, in a late journey to and from Dartmouth was 
obliged to ride in a very rainy season, which hath thrown 
him into a fever that at first greatly alarmed us, but 
thro' the favor of Heaven the symptoms are very much 
abated and we hope he will soon be able to attend busi- 
ness. If things do not turn out very different from our 
present expectations, your Honor will hear from him in 
the course of the next week. In the mean time he hath 
desired me to inform you, that your letter by the post 
came safe to hand the last week, and that there mi edit 
be punctual compliance with the directions you was 
pleased to give, he immediately sent a person to Dart- 
mouth to deliver the stores deposited there to your order. 
At the same time nothing is neglected here, M r Green- 
leaf, the Sheriff of this County, and who is my son's 
father in law, will take particular care of every thing 
during his indisposition. He informs me that two ves- 
sel Is and some articles of the cargo which your Honor 
allowed to be sold here, were put up at auction on Tues- 

* Rev. Andrew Eliot, D.D., was born in Boston Dec. 25, 1718, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1737, was settled over the New North Church in 1742, and died in his native 
tf>wn Sept. 1-3, 1778. Fis third son, Samuel, was born June 17, 1743, married Elizabeth 
Oreenleaf in 1771, and died in 1784. He was a merchant in Boston, and agent it: Massa- 
chusetts for the State of Connecticut. — Eds. 


day, and sold very well I doubt not all be dene to 
your satisfaction. 

May the God of Heaven support you, Sir, under the 
weight of public cares that is upon you in the present 
critical day, and give you to see the happy success of 
your wise and patriotic exertions. I am persuaded the 
Great Governor of the world hath some great design to 
accomplish with respect to America. If our vices do not 
prevent it we must be a great, a happy people. From 
these we have more to fear than from the power of Britain, 
formidable as it is. God may humble us and bring 
us yet lower, but I have a firm faith that He will exalt 
us in due time. Our country will be a quiet habitation, 
a land of liberty, an asylum of the oppressed, the glory 
and the wonder of the world, unless by our ingratitude 
and impiety we provoke God to leave us. But I may 
not trespass on your Honor's important moments, 
and am, with the highest esteem and respect, Sir, 
Your obliged, faithful servant. 

Andrew Eliot. 

Governor Trumbull. 


Albany, June 5 th , 1777. 

Sir, — -The Hon ble Continental Congress having re- 
instated me in the command of the Northern Depart- 
ment, I do myself the honor to advise you thereof, 
and to entreat a renewal of that correspondence from 
which I have reaped much advantage and enjoyed great 

Our army in this quarter still continues weak in num- 
bers. They are, however, extremely healthy, & as we 
are tolerably well off for tents and other shelter, and that 
I have hopes they will be well supplied with necessaries, 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull"? Letter Book. — Eds. 


and their officers more attentive than heretofore to keep- 
ing the men clean in their persons and quarters, I hope 
we shall not experience so much disease as heretofore. 
Pray, my compliments to the Paymaster General. 
I am, Sir, with unfeigned esteem and respect, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Ph: Schuyler. 

The Hon b1e Jon™ Trumbull, Esq', &c. 


To Bis Hon r Governor Trumbull, Hartford. Fav d p Maj r Pierce. 

Albany, 9 th June, 1777. 

ITon d Sir, — I arrived in this place in safety on Fri- 
day eve g after leav g Hartford ; have nothing very material 
to inform. General Schuyler had assumed the coiiiand 
here two days before my arrival. General Gates is leav g 
us this day, — I hope not to quit the service wholly ; he 
thinks himself extreamly illused, & is not insensible to 
the injury. 

The design of the enemy's approach on the lake ap- 
pears to have been to receive some wheat & other pro- 
visions from Gilleland's Creek, & a number of cattle collect 
on the opposite shore, which happily we had secured from 
them. Their appearance was magnified by the beholders 
& supposed to be the whole army; they soon disappeared, 
& are returned with some disappointment. There has 
been no discovery since. General S* Clair, with Gen 11 
De Fermoy (a Frenchman) & their suits left Albany yes- 
terday for Ty. The former takes the comand att that 
post. The Indian treaty ended much to the satisfaction 
of the Indians, who are gone home with very peaceable 
intentions & good dispositions towards their American 
brothers. I beleive they are firmly determined to take 
no active part on either side. 


The old arms have been wait g an opportunity to be sent 

down & are still on hand. It will be best for the tools. 

&c., &c., to come on as soon as may be without wait* the 

twine. I wish for the post rider as soon as convenient, 

& hope p him to have the newspapers regularly. 1 am, 

Hon* Sir, 

Your most obedient son, 

J. Trumbull, Jux p \ 

Hon Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 9 th June, 1777, Paymaster General, rec d 15 th ins 1 p M r Adams. 
Be his arrival at Albany, 6 th vespere. General Schuyler resumed y e co- 
mand. Gen 1 Gates leaves there the 9 th , disgusted, looks on himself ill used. 
The alarm occasiond from the enemy's com* to Gilleland's Creek for wheat 
& cattle, — the latter taken by us & they disappointed. Indian treaty ended 
to the satisfaction of the enemy, — they will take part on neither side. 
Old arms ready ; best to have the teams come on. 


On Public Service. His Honor Governor Trumbull, Hartford or 
Lebanon, Connecticut. Fav d p Maj r Pierce. 

Albany, 10 th June, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Since writing you yesterday we have the 
return of a scout into Canada ; their report is very favour- 
able as to their discoveries. They confirm the burn g of 
seven houses in S* Johns & one att Isle Aux Noix. The 
troops are about 7,000 in number, remaining in their 
cantonments thro different parts of the country the 21 st 
May. Two regiments were preparing to march for Quebec ; 
General Carleton at Quebec. 1100 men had died in the 
vicinity of Montreal during the winter. Tis said Bur- 
goyne arrived att Quebec 10 th May, without troops, Col 
McClean with him ; Canadians very illy used & much 
disaffected. Indians all quiet in their villages. No bat- 
teaus built in the course of winter, 150 to be built ; two 
armed vessels cruizing on the lake, the others att S* 


Johns. 300 regulars att Isle Aux Noix ; 200 S* Johns ; 
20 att Chamble. The German troops disaffected & in 
dispute with the General, say s they came out only to 
garrison Quebec, not willing to open a campaign in any 
other service ; many demand* to return to their country 
upon the foot g (as they say) of their time being up ; rather 
than continue in the service would desert, if they had 
the means of escaping. Wheat in Canada one dollar p 
bushell, pork 20 coppers p pound. General Carleton had 
published in Quebec an ordonnance requiring all those 
who had not six months provisions in store to retire into 
the country. Cap 1 La Tourte saw a fleet of 40 sail in 
Gulph of S fc Lawrence, u supposed to be a French fleets 
As to the last article our opinion does not comport with 
Cap 1 La Tourte. We suppose the fleet to be those trans- 
ports which left N. York in April destined to Canada for 
troops. The troops in Canada are nine regiments of 
German & eight British. 

I must beg, Sir, this intelligence may not be published, 
— it may have ill effects, — it may prevent my being 
able to furnish you any further discoveries. 

Tis almost reduced to a certainty that General Schuyler 
will be chosen Governor of this State. 

I am, Hon d Sir, your most dutiful & affectionate 

Jon a Trumbull, Jun e . 

Gov. Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 10 th June, 1777. Paj-master General. Favorable report from 
Canada, &c. Reed. 15 th p M r . Adams, 5 o'cl., P. M. General Schuyler to 
be Gov r of the State of X. York. 



On publick service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, at 
Lebanon, State of Connecticut. 

State of New York, Kingston, June 10 th , 1777. 

Sir, — An application has been made to the Council of 
Safety of this State by Doctor Piatt Townsend, request- 
ing their interposition with the Government of Connecti- 
cut that he might be allowed to erect salt works there 
and transport the salt into this State for sale. 

The Council made not the least hessitation to comply 
with Doctor Townsend's request, as the inhabitants of 
this State are suffering to a very great degree for that 
necessary article ; being shut up from the ocean by the 
common enemy, and in a great measure deprived of any 
benefit from it by the embargo laid in the Eastern 
States, their distresses will become insupportable, unless 
speedy measures be taken for their relief. The Board 
has therefore directed me to write to your Excellency 
upon the subject and to request not only that Doctor 
Townsend may be allowed to erect his works, but that a 
general indulgence may be granted to all such as may 
incline to erect salt works for the purpose of supplying 
the inhabitants of this State. As it is impossible that 
our sister States should have entertained the most dis- 
tant inclinations of assisting; the common enemv to dis- 
tress this State, the Board is firmly persuaded that this 
just and necessary requisition will be cheerful!}' complied 

The late Convention wrote to you on the 18 th of April 
last, which I presume must have miscarried, as no answer 

* Pierre Van Cortlandt was born m Cortlandt Manor Jan. 10, 1721, and died in New 
York May 1, 1314. On the breaking out of the War of the Revolution he joined the 
American side, and was suct3?sively a member of the Provincial Convention, the Council 
of Safety, and the Provinc'il Congress. Upon the organization of the State government 
he was chosen Lieutenant Governor, and held that office for ei-hteeu years. See Apple- 
ton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. vi. p. 237, — Eds. 

1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 59 

has been received ; therefore I take the liberty to trans- 
mit a copy herewith. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 
Your Excellencies most obed fc serv 1 . 

Pierre Van Cortlandt, Prcs dt . 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Sis Excellency Gov T Trumbull. Connecticut. JP r Express. 

Head Quarters, Peekskill, 19 th June, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — By express from his Excellency General 
Washington I am informed that Gen 1 Howe moved on 
the night preceeding the 14 th insr, with the main body of 
his army from Brunswick to Somerset Court House ; the 
enemy now form a line from thence to Brunswick. We 
are constantly harrassing them with light troops. The 
militia seem w T ell disposed to lend every aid in their 
power ; no important movement has yet been made, tho' 
almost hourly expected. 

The General whites me in the most urgent manner to 
forward the troops ; no endeavours of mine shall be 
wanting; and I doubt not, your utmost exertions will be 
used for this important purpose. I wish the Colonels 
would be more attentive that the men who are forwarded 
to camp come properly officered ; there has been great 
neglect in this particular ; many of the regim t8 at this 
post, have not an officer of higher rank than Lieutenant. 
I am, Sir, with the greatest respect, 

Your most ob*, hum. serv*, 

His Excellency Gov* Trumbull. ISRAEL PUTNAM. 

Indorsed : 19 th June, 1777. Maj r Gen 1 Putnam, de Gen 1 Washington's 

situation. To forward the Officers. Rec' 1 22 d ins'. 

* Israel Putnam was ' orn in Danvers, then a part of Salem, Mass.. Jan. 7, 1718. was 
one of the first to join the American forces after the battle of Lexington, served with zeal 
and ability until he was disabled by a paralytic attack at the beginning of 17S0, and died 
in Brooklyn, Conn., May 19, 1790. His Life has been often written. — Eds. 



(On public service) Ills Excellency Govemour Trumbull, 
Connecticut. I. Putnam. 

Peekskill, 21 st June, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — The enclosed is a copy of a letter I have 
just received from Gen 1 Washington.* The operations 
of the enemy, tho' still doubtful, are probably intended 
against this quarter, and this probability is heightned 
by the prospect of hostilities to the northward. 

You are perhaps acquainted that a chain is thrown 
across this River ; for the defence of this chain and the 
farther security of the river, his Excel 3 ' Gen 1 Washington 
has ordered the ships and gallies to be stationed at the 
chain whenever they were compleated. One of the 
ships is brought down ; but to complete her we were 
reduced to the sad necessity of taking guns from the 

How we shall furnish the other ship I know not. The 
Salisbury furnace I am informed is now in blast, and the 
guns they are casting of exactly the same dimensions 
with those we had for the ships last fall. 

If you can direct me the method to obtain these guns 
for the use above mentioned, it would be rendring the 
public an eminent service ; and no pains shall be spared 
on my part to secure them without delay. 

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, 

Your mo. ob* seiV. 

Israel Putnam. 

Govern r Trumbull. 

* The copy referred to is not among the Trumbull Papers. — Eds. 



Camp, Middle Brook, 22 nd Jane, 1777. 

Hon rd Sir, — We have been in great hurry here for 10 
days past, preparing to follow the enemy. They have 
been out as far as Somerset Court House, on the road 
towards Phil a . The army & militia turned out & ap- 
peared so strong that they did not choose to go farther 
from their stronghold. After plundering & abusing the 
inhabitants they retired back to Brunswick again with 
great precipitation, burning several buildings as they 
went off. It appears now by their motions that they in- 
tend soon to embark soon from Amboy, whether to go to 
Phil a or further southward, up N. River, or into N. Eng- 
land, is entirely unknown to us. We soon expect a long 
chase somewhere after them. They have lost a consider- 
able number of officers & men in their excurtion, & I 
believe are reallj 7 airraid to meet our army in the field. 
The militia turned out beyond our most sanguine expec- 
tations, here & in Pensil a . I wish they had gone on, so 
that we could have got between them & the water. We 
shall never be better prepared for them. 

With proper salutations to the family &.all friends, 
I am, Hon rd Sir, your most dutifull son, 

Jos : Trumbull. 

M r Root came here last evening ; left Col° Dyer, &c. 3 
above the mountains, — gone on by way of Easton. 

Gov 1 Tkumbull. 



To The Hon hle Jonathan Trumbull, Esa r , Governor of the State of 
Connecticut, Lebanon. Fav d by M r Turnbull. 

Camp, Middle Brook, 22 nd June, 1777. 
6 o'clock, P. M. 

Hon ed Sir, — I wrote you in the morning p r post ; this 
opportunity offering p M r Turnbull, who is to call on you, 
I can now inform you that the enemy have evacuated 
Brunswick & gone to Amboy, burning several little 
places before them as they went off. Our people are 
now in Brunswick & hang g on the enemy's rear ; I 
don't yet learn what we have killed or taken, or what 
baggage, &c. ; perhaps M r T. will learn some more par- 
ticulars, before he leaves this, as we expect further 
intelligence every minute. 

This event will put us on the move, & a good lookout 
should be kept on the sea coast for intelligence of their 
movements, that the troops & militia may keep them in 
play 'till the army can get up. I think they are in such 
terror now they dare not look at our army, but may do 
mischief along the coast, from their advantage of moving 
by water. I rather expect N. Kiver may be their object. 
I am, Hon rd Sir, your dutifull son, 

Jos : Trumbull. 

Gov r Trumbull. 

I have just rec d Bro r David's of 3 d ins* about the pork 
& beef he has at Lebanon ; he '11 let it lye at present, as 
it is not yet certain in which way it may be wanted, un- 
less Cap* Wadsworth has or shall give orders about it. 
If any overhauling is wanted he must have it done. 



Lebanon, June 2.3 th , 1777. 

S B , — Your favor of the 10 th instant has been recieved, 
and the contents duly noticed. Yours of the 18 th April 
last did not come to hand until! the sessions of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, when the multiplicity of public business 
prevented my returning an answer untill the close of the 
sessions, which was then done and forwarded, and doubt 
not you have recieved the same. The necessary orders 
for the return of the prisoners are making out, will soon 
be compleated, & forwarded the first opportunity to 
them, when I shall write you on the subject. The manu- 
facturing that necessary article, salt, in this State by 
Doctor Piatt Townsend, or any other inhabitant of the 
State of New York, and transporting the same into that 
State for the supply of the inhabitants, can have no 
objection to, as it always affords me pleasure to have it 
in my power to alleviate the distresses of any who are 
suffering in the cause of American freedom. On appli- 
cation made by the Committee of the Manor of Cortland, 
May 9 th last, liberty was given for manufacturing salt in 
this and transporting it into your State. Enclosed is 
copy of the vote of the Gov r and Council of Safety of this 
State on the subject for your observation. 

I am, with great truth and regard, Sir, 

Your most humble servant. 

Jon™ Trumbull. 

Hon ble Pierre Van Cortlandt. 



Albany, June 28 th , 1777. 

Sir, — I have just recieved two letters from General 
S* Clair, dated Ticonderoga on the 25 th and 2G th instant. 
He advises me that the enemy's fleet and army are 
arrived at Crown Point, that they have sent strong de- 
tachments, one to cut oil' Fort George, and the other 
either to surprise Skeensborongh or throw themselves on 
the communication between that and Ticonderoga. The 
troops there are greatly inadequate to the defence of 
the extensive works on both sides of the lake, and I have 
unhappily no troops to reinforce him. The militia of 
this State are called upon, but I cannot expect that they 
will be numerous, as those of the western part of the 
State are ordered to march at a moment's warning to 
oppose Sir John Johnson, who is expected to make an 
irruption on the Mohawk River. 

I have written to the committee of Berkshire, and 
requested them to call upon the counties and districts 
in that State and in Connecticut. 

Should the militia turn out with spirit, I am in hopes 
we shall be able to baffle the enemy. I have requested 
the militia to rendezvous at Fort Edward or Fort Ann, 
as may be most convenient. Your Excellency will be 
pleased to order those from Connecticut by any route 
you may think best. I believe by the way of Albany 
would be as expeditious as any and more convenient. 
I am, Sir, with great respect & esteem, 

Your Excellency's most obed fc ? hble. servant. 

Pn: Schuyler. 

His Excellency Jon th Trumbull, Esq r . 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Look. — Eds. 



To The Hon** Jonathan Trumbull, Esq*, Governor of the State of 
Connecticut, Lebanon, 

Camp, Middle Brook, 29 th June, 1777r 
Hon** Sir, — Since I wrote you last, the enemy have 
quitted Brunswick & gone to Amboy, & I believe most 
of them are on Staten Island ; they were get g over yes- 
terday. It will take them some time to embark, to go 
any where else; they may send some party's on the 
coast of Connecticut, but I rather fancy they '11 go up 
N. River or to Newport. When they went off from Bruns- 
wick they burned & destnyyed as they went, & drove off 
the live stock on the road ; & since they have been out 
with their whole force as far as the Scotch Plain?, & so a 
circuit to Eliz a Town & Woodbridge, '& burned & destroyed 
many buildings, & drove off the stock which [they] car- 
ried on Staten Island to fatten ; they came with their 
whole force to effect this; they have not made these ma- 
nuveres, without very considerable loss ; by our people 
continually hang g on their rear & flanks & harrassing 
them, they have suffered very considerably. The most 
of the loss we have met with was in an action which L d 
Stirling had with them last Wensday, in which he lost 
2 or 3 men killed, 8 or 10 wounded, & 20 or 30 missing, 
some of which are daily coming in. He also lost 2 field 
pieces, 3 pounders. He was greatly overpowered with 
numbers, & no party near to reinforce him. He & his 
people behaved exceedingly well tho' they met with loss. 
The militia of this State have behaved to admiration. 
Brunswick is as bad as destroyed & dirty beyond de- 
scription. The late conduct of the enemy has converted 
all the Tory's in this part of the world, k not left one 
remain*. Congress have at last compleated the new 
regulations of the Comissary Department. It does not 


suit me. I shall get some alterations, or decline the 
appointment which was unanimous in my fav r . They di- 
rect me to keep an office in Phil a & to be always present 
there myself or clerk. This I shall get altered or decline, 
as the sum allowed me would not maintain me in that 
most extravagant place ; the pay is 8 doll rb & C rations 
p day. With proper regards to all the family & friends. 
I am, IIon rd Sir, your dutifull son, 

Jos : Trumbull. 

Gov Trumbull. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, att Lebanon. Free. T. Burr. 
M r Ilildruj) is desired to forward it as soon as possible. 

Fairfield, July 4 th , 1777. 

S R , — Immediately on my arrival home I wrote to Co 1 
Davenport to let him know the necessity of his attending 
at the Council-Board, but have heard nothing from him. 
Since which, my negro man Cato, who was my main de- 
pendence for haying and harvest, has run of to Long 
Island ; that it is next to impossible for me to wait upon 
your Excellency till after harvest, unless the enemy should 
drive us off. Our frontiers to the westward are left so 
bare that, I confess, I see nothing to hinder them from 
penetrating as far as this place. And I think we have 
the greatest reason to suppose they will do it, as soon as 
we are in the midst of harvest. I hope, however, that 
God in his kind providence will yet protect us. We seem 
of late to have got out of the way of direct intelligence. 
If we may believe the accounts we have from the north- 
werd and westwerd, I acknowledge that it appears to me 
that we are in a very critical situation. But light may 
spring out of darkness, and the event must be left to the 
Great Disposer of all things. Yesterday morning ten of 
the prisoners who were taken in the Danbury expedition 


were landed here from a flag. Leu* Betts, who is an in- 
telligent man, says, by all he could collect at New York, 
(which he left on Tuesday last) he is inclined to think 
that the enemy in the Jerseys from Thursday to Satur- 
day last had not succeeded so well as they expected ; that 
of 5000 prisoners which they pretended they had taken, 
he could see hut 62, and was asured that they had taken 
no more. 

That our prisoners fared very hard, and that many of 
them had not clothing enough to cover their nakedness; 
that many of them were obliged from meer necessity 
to list into the service of the eneni} 7 . Can't we by some 
means or other send them in some tow shirts & trowsers, 
which will make them comfortable in the warm weather? 
It appears to me it might be done, at least for the sol- 
diers who belong to this State ; they, certainly, on such 
an occasion can he picked up in the several towns. 
Humanity requires that it should be done. 

Should your Excellency and your Council in our ab- 
sence appoint a Co 1 for Douglasses reg fc I wish Leu* Co 1 
Dimon may stand in his fair light. He is a man of good 
moral character, great natural abilities, steady courage, 
and a surprizing turn for the art of war, which is much 
improved by being eight months intimately connected 
with the brave Gen 1 Montgomery. At the time of Lex- 
ington battle he was Cap 1 of a militia company, and went 
forward on that occasion as Cap 1 of a volunteer company, 
and has ever since been in the service. In July, before 
they marched from New York, General Montgomery ap- 
pointed him Brigade Maj r ; during the seige at S r Johns 
and for two months before it surrendered, he acted as a 
full Maj r , and had the promise of General Montgomery 
of a commission, which was actually made out, but his 
death prevented his geting it. The winter and spring 
following he went to N. York as Maf to Warterbury's 
reg 1 , in which station he acted to the universal appro- 

68 TriE TRUMBULL PAPERS. [177 7. 

bation of all his sup* officers. The last summer he was 
Maf to Bradley's reg*, since which he was appointed Maj r 
to Douglasses re of and then a Leu 1 Co 1 , in which station 
he has been exceeding industerous, and had the wliole 
care and trouble of fixing and forwarding the reg* Thus 
stands his character and rank ; and should your Excel- 
lency and Council adopt the same rule as was with re- 
spect to Chandler's reg*, I cannot see why Dimon should 
not have the reg*. 

I doubt not he will have justice done him that he may 
be saved in the service. I wish it because I know he is 
a good officer, and wants nothing but a liberal education 
to make him in every point equal to any of our first Col s . 

My respectful compliments to the gentlemen of the 
Board ; and believe me, with great truth and regard, 
Your Excellency's sincere friend 

and most ob*, hum Serv*. 

Thaddeus Burr. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 4 th July, 1777. Thad 3 Burr, Esq*, de. Col Davenport; Return 
of Danbury Prisoners : Col Dimon, &c. Rec d 7 th ins*. 


New Haven, 5 July, 1777. 
Hox D Sir, — I could not find any cartridges that suited 
the bore of my guns, so that I have been obliged to take 
some powder of M r Doolittle & ball of Col. Fitch & make 
cartridges. I have just rec d orders from General Putnam 
to repair imediately to Peeks Kill with all the Conti- 
nental troops. There are about 200 men here which will 
march tomorrow mornino; for Fairfield. There are about 
100 at that place & between one & two hundred at Stam- 
ford & Lyram, all which will move as soon as I can get 
orders to them. Upon which conclude you will order 
militia on the coast. 


A flag of truce came in here yesterday from New York 
with clothing & a little matter of money for the prison- 
ers. Sergeant Fagan is returned in it & Lieut Dawson 
of the 38 th is come to see to the delivery and take receipts 
from each individual. As this would take up a fortnight 
or three weeks I told L fc Dawson it would give umbrage 
to the country, nor did I think it reasonable that he 
should be permitted to go all over the country & tarry 
so long in it. I proposed to him to deliver all the articles 
over to Serg fc Fagan, or to have them comitted to a cer- 
tain 1/ McDonnald, a prisoner in Massachusetts, or to have 
the Sergeant's prisoners at or near Hartford come to this 
place. The latter seemed agreeable to him & I was send- 
ing for them when he went on board to bring the clothes; 
he soon sent me word by Sergeant Fagan that he would 
let Fagan take the clothes, &c, for the 5o th reg*. to which 
he belonged, & that he would take the others back, & is 
gone in disgust. 

There are about 4000 cartridges of this State's in this 
town k 5000 at Fairfield, an incompetent quantity for 
the present times. 

I am, with love & compliments to all friends, 

Your affectionate & obed* son, 

Jed. Huntington. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut, Lebanon. ¥ express. 

Morristown, 6 th July, 1777. 

Hon** Sir, — I wrote you last from Middle Brook, since 
which the whole army has removed to this place. This 
movement was made on the ground of the information 
from the northward, that the enemy were advanced as 
far as Crown Point,, on their way to attack Ty, which 
being true, it was not doubted but Gen 1 Howe would 


cooperate, by going up the North River \ & when we 
removed here last Thirsday, it was expected to halt here 
only for a night, & go on the next day for the Eiver. 
On our arrival here, intelligence from the northward was 
not so full by another express as at first. Therefore we 
are still lying here, in a position easy to go on to N. River, 
or to Phil a , as future intelligence may turn up ; how long 
vve shall remain here is uncertain. By all our intelli- 
gence from the enemy below, from prisoners escaping, 
& deserters, &c, &c, they are about a full remove from 
New York. Three prisoners who came in yesterday, & 
escaped the night before from New York, say that the 
forreign troops are all embarked, & the British are em- 
barking, that the troops are encamped on the same 
ground they first landed on, & it is remarkable that they 
returned to that spot the day twelve months from that 
they first took possession of it on, & the ships lye as then. 
That the transports are mostly large ships; they are fully 
wooded & watered ; the merch ta & others in New York 
are pack g up their goods & furniture ; & that every thing 
appears like a general remove from that place. Indeed, 
these facts being true, it looks like a leaving the country. 
Suppose them embark g the troops only & in large ships 
& wooding & watering, that is ag st going up the N. River, 
or along shore, except into large k deep harbours. The 
size of the ships & w r ood g & w 7 ater § seafaring men can 
hardly be deceived in ; they are our own people, & we 
can't have so great distrust of their fidelity as of for- 
eigners ; on the whole, I conceive they are going off to 
leave us, or removing wholly to Boston or Newport. I 
apprehend the latter the rather of the two. I can see 
an object for them there of importance, & which they 
may carry probably before our army can get up. That 
is, the fleet at Providence & the town, & they may think 
it easy to march across the country from thence to 
Boston. If they had ever done a wise thing we might 


expect this movement from them; then their leaving a 
garrison at Newport, & being in possession there, they 
can land their troops on that Island at leisure & security, 
& there is room & depth of water eno' for their fleet, large 
as it may be. I hope if they go that way, that New- 
England may not fall short of this & the other States this 
way in their exertions to save their countrv. They may 
depend on the greatest dispatch in the army's coming up 
to their assistance. I think at any rate it is best for the 
people to hasten their hay g & harvests to be in readiness 
if they should come. It must take them some time yet ; 
they can't embark & disembark such numbers, & fit out 
so large a fleet without expence of time. I hope from 
the size of the ships that they will not venture thro' the 
Sound, & that the coast of Connecticut may be free from 
their ravages ; it will doubtless be best however to have 
a good look out kept to guard ag st sudden irruptions with 
smaller party's. I am some times apprehensive of their 
turning their measures from the pursuit of conquest, to 
a war of plunder, ravage, & destruction, their behaviour 
at quitting here carry strong marks of such a plan being 
adopted. In the skirmish they had last week with L d 
Sterling they have lost considerable numbers, — some 
considerable men ; they were much exasperated at it. 
We suffered but little, except in loosing three field pieces ; 
our men behaved exceeding well, but were greatly over- 
powered by numbers. It is said a gentleman, a Captain 
Cornwallis, son of the Gen 11 , was killed & a Gen" Officer, 
&c. ; but of this we are not certain. Some persons how- 
ever of importance are killed, by all aeeot 3 from the 
inhabitants who are left behind. They plundered the 
inhabitants so totally, that the General has been obliged 
to order from the stores flour, &c, &c, for the remain- 
ing inhabitants, to save them from perishing. Our army 
is daily increasing, are well armed, cloathed. covered, & 
fed ; they are yet healthy. I fear for them, this & the 


next month, & part of Sept r , but hope for the best. I 
AS'ish they could be better supplied with vegitables & 
vinegar, botli which are scarce k hardly to be obtained. 
I beg my best respects to the family & all friends, 

& am, 

Hon rd Sir, your dutifull son. 

Jos : Trumbull. 

I see that the Assembly have ordered the stile of Ex- 
cellency to their Governor. I wish I could see less fond- 
ness for following the fashion of their neighbours, that 
they would adhere strictly to original principles, k abhor 
all appearances of regal k majesterial modes, forms k 
titles. Gen 1 Gates, I understand, is expected here in a 
day or two, I suppose to take his proper place in the 
grand army. 

Please to forward the inclosed. 

Gov r Tp.umbull. 

I have nothing new since writing this. We are yet 

wait 8 the enemy's motions. 

J. Trumbull. 

Mokristowx, 9- h July, 1777. 


On Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, State of 
Connecticutt. Albany, S e/t July. — J. T. 

Albany, 8 th July, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Tyconderoga & Mount Independence are 
in possession of our enemies. Att a Council of War it 
was determined to evacuate those posts. This resolution 
was effected last Friday, with such precipitancy k hurry 
that almost all the stores, provision, amunition. cannon 
& baor^as-e was left behind. A few men, with such 
articles as could le thrown into the smallest N° of boats 
they had, are come by way of Skeensborough, & are now 


att Fori Ann. The main body of the garrison are gone 
off by way of Castleton, fetch g a circuit thro the country 
to Skeens. These we have not heard from since their 
leav g the post. Our misfortune is [lightened by the lose 
att Skeensborough ; the pursuit of the enemy was so 
rapid that our little party by water was overtaken at that 
place. With the same hurry & confusion in which they 
sett off, they abandoned the vessels & boats with every 
thing on board them. These the enemy have possessed 
themselves of, among which I am told was one vessell 
loaded with poivder. These are the principal circum- 
stances I am yett possessed of. I dare not make any 
observations ; I have given you. facts which I submit to 
your own reflections. I will only say that I must be 
possessed of some very material circumstances in addition 
to what I now know, before I can conceive the necessity 
a garrison, well filed with provisions, amunition, military 
stores, above an hundred cannon, &c, &c., & between 3 
& 4000 men, should be under of abandon 5 their post, att 
the appearance only of not more than twice their number, 
— I say the appearance only, because I dont yet learn 
that a gun had been fired, save by scout s parties, &c. 
But Heaven has thus decreed ; it must be so. 

This misfortune will, I fear, be the most important in 
its consequences of any thing that Providence has yet 
cast into our lott. Att one blow it lays open all N. Eng- 
land to the incursions of the enemy (who are prepared 
with their savages), as well as exposes this whole State, 
now posesed. att each extremity by the foe. The horrid 
work of murder is also begun att the western posts. 
Yesterday brot us also the account of a second scalp 8 
match att Fort Stanwix alias Schuyler. 

General Schuyler, with the little handfull of fugitives 
from Ty, k the small body of militia already collected, 
is form* his stand att Fort Ann, where they are in want of 
every thing that can be conceived necessary for the sub- 


sistancc of an army. Without speedy & effectual support 
they will not be able to maintain themselves there 3 & if 
running comes in vogue I know not where they may stop. 
If N. England is not roused now, they must be seized 
with a fatal lethergy which must perhaps end in their 

While I am writing General Nixon's brigade from be- 
low are com g into town. This is some relief. I dont 
know that any more troops are yet under orders from 
Gen u Washington. Expresses are gone to every quarter. 
The kind interposition of Providence is my support, as 
little reason as we have from our crying sins to hope for 
this mercy, — yet I do not give up this hope. 

General Gates s opinion of the enemy's operations this 
campaign is, I think, verifying fast. We [every moment?] 
expect to hear an attempt below. The old gentleman told 
me little before he left us, that the enemy from the north- 
ward would not be down till July ; that General Howe's 
army below, if not lost to every idea of their most im- 
portant interest or some unforeseen accident did not in- 
tervene, would certainly cooperate with motions above, 
& spoke with some uneasiness of the inattention paid by 
superiour powers to his opinion. But — misfortunes 
sometimes teach us our mistakes att great expence. I 
wish we had a channel of correspondence from this to 
Connecticut; tins must go by an uncertain conveyance. 
My best regards attend all friends & connections. I am, 

with greatest affection, 

Your most dutifull. 

J. Trumbull, Ju a . 

1777.] OLIVER WOLCOTT. 75 


Litchfield, 9' July, 1777. 

SlR 5 — I have enclosed copys of two letters from Gen- 
erals Schuyler and Learned which I have just now rec' 1 
from Major Sedgwick of Sheffield. The whole of my 
intelligence is contained in these copys. By my letter 
of the 7* I acquainted your Excellency that 1 had ordered 
one half of Burrell's regiment to the northward ; he writes 
to me that his men are assembling. I have repeated my 
orders to him, and have sent similar orders to Col. Hum- 
phrys. I have not yet given any direction for the march 
of any of the other two regiments in my brigade, as I 
apprehended that the enemy will soon be up the North 
River, and might probably, perhaps at the same time, 
endeavour to divert the attention of this State by an 
attack upon our towns on the sea side, so that I tho't it 
not unlikely that the service of these two regiments 
might be more wanted for the defence of this quarter 
than at the northward. But I shall be happy in receiv- 
ing the directions of your Excellency and the Council of 

I 'cannot learn where our garrison which left Ticon- 
deroga are. The acc° which is sent is less explicit than 
I could wish. I have directed the express to procure 
some cartridge paper, if to be had, as it is much wanted 

I am your Excellency's most obedient, 
humble Servant. 

Oliver Wolcott. 

Gov Trumbull. 

* Oliver Wolcott, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was horn in 
Windsor, Conn., Xov. 26, 1720, graduated at Yale College in 1747, and died in Litchfield 
Dec. 1, 1797. He was eminent in both civil and military life. When this letter was 
written he was in command of one of the brigades for the home defence. Tn 17SG he was 
elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, and held that office until 1796, when he was 
elected Governor. Ue died while holding the latter office. See Appleton' s Cyclopaedia of 
American Biography, vol. \i. pp. 587, 588; Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Yale Gradu- 
ates, vol. ii. pp. 137-139. — Eds. 



Providence, 11 th July, 1777. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure to congratulate your Excel- 
lency on the success of Lt. Co 1 Barton, who, with the num- 
ber of forty, including Cap ts Addams & Philips & some 
other brave officers, last night went on Rhode Island 
and brought off Maj r Gen 1 Prescot & one of his Aid de 
Camps & the centry at the Gen 18 door, all that was at the 
Gen 13 quarters. This was done with such prudence that 
no alarm was given amongst the enemy untill our party 
had got near to the main. I have just had the inteli- 
gence by Cap* Adams, Gen 1 Prescot is now at Warwick. 
I have sent for him here. As I think it not expedient to 
keep Gen 1 Prescot in this State, I shall take the liberty to 
send him to the care of your Excellency & Council, untill 
the pleasure of Gen 1 Washington can be known with re- 
gard to the disposal and treatment of Gen 1 Prescot. I 
shall send by Cap* Wyley to Gen 1 Washington tomorrow 
to know his mind in this matter. I believe lis best to 
keep Prescot very safely, untill I receive directions how 
to conduct.* I heard last night by M r Greanlief of Wind- 
ham that Ticondaroge was taken, but I hope tis not true, 
or that it is no more than our people's quitting Ty, and 
repairing to Fort Independence, but we are very desirous 
of knowing the truth. We have no other news here. 

I am, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's obedient, hum. servant. 

Jo s Spencer. 

* Gen. Robert Proscott was born in Lancashire, England, in 1725, and died in his native 
land in 1310. After his capture on Rhode Island he was held as a prisoner of war until the 
early part of the following year, when he was exchanged for Gen. Charles Lee, who had 
been captured by the British. See Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xhi. pp. 304, 
305; Appleton's Cyclopaedia cf. American Biography, vol. v. p. 109. — Eds. 



On Public Service. Jlis Excellency Governor Trumbull, State of 
Connecticut^ Lebanon. Albany, II th July. J. Trumbull, Jun r . 

Albany, 11 th July, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I wrote you three days ago p M r Wheeler. 
The next day our little army or a part of it had a skir- 
mish with the enemy att Fort Ann, which would have heen 
much to the disadvantage of the enemy had not oicr aiTiu- 
nition failed. The enemy however were glad to retire. 
We could not pursue for want of lead. M r Pierce, who is 
very intelligent & observant, writes me the enemy would 
have been cutt off, but for the reason mentioned ; he adds 
that att night the pickett guard could not be furnished 
with bullets for the guard. Tis better now ; some lead is 
gone on. I wish we had a sufficient supply to send them. 
Our loss of stores, &e., att Ty is more & more sensibly felt. 
We are destitute of every thing, hav g given all to the 
enemy, who I dare say are surprized themselves att their 
acquisition. Expresses are gone to the labaratory att 
Springfield for every necessary. I hope the[y] will not 
delay a moment send g to our relief. One Captain, 2 subs, 
1 Doctor, some privates were taken in the skirmish att 
Fort Ann, & considerable loss to the enemy as well as to 
ourselves. The main body which marched by way of Cas- 
tleton, (after much pain on their acc°) is heard off k will 
probably be with General Schuyler att Fort Edward this 
night. In their march, about 5 miles from Castleton, 
they were attacked (their rear division) by 17 comp es of 
light infantry & some comp a of grenadiers, when a smart 
action insued, near two hours, in which our people fought 
with great spirit & bravery & kept the field. 'Tis re- 
ported by gentlemen from them, that the enemy left of dead 
near 300 on the ground ; 24 are prisoners. Our missing 
are about 300. 1 seem rejoiced to hear of some blood in 
the affair. The characters of our Generals who were att 


Ty — particularly S* Clair's — are suffering, perhaps irre- 
ireivably. The minds of the people are much inflamed ; 
some cry treachery, some cowardice.; all blame, not without 
too much & too great reason ; my heart is full. Perhaps 
tis not prudent to say any more. 

The militia of the country are (lock g in great numbers 
to Fort Edward. Gen 1 Schuyler is distressed almost to 
death with vexation. Dont yet know of any more troops 
yet ordered from below. I hope they are corn*. Militia 
are poor dependance att any time, & it is distressing to 
have them in the field att this season. 

Happily for us, the enemy, as I predicted, dont press. 
Delay will give us time to recover our sences, collect our 
scattered forces, & draw together a body, I hope sufficient 
to prevent their approach till we are in better state for 
their reception. This will soon be the case, if a concert is 
not struck up from below, which is much to be expected. 
Delay on the enemy side will also give us time to withdraw 
our stores, cannon, &c,, from Fort George, or establish our- 
selves there, as circumstances may turn up. Nothing but 
a safe withdraw from thence has hitherto been thot off, & 
stores are bring g to Fort Edw d . 

We hear nothing more from the westward of {mediate 
attack. S r John, with M c Koy, &c, some regulars, Cana- 
dians & savages are att Oswego, wait g to be joined bv But- 
ler from Niagara. S r John is doubtless in hope of shortly 
enjoying his estate & possessions att Johnstown, as Gov' 
Skeen is now in possession of his att Skeensborough. 

I write in great haste, hav g but little knowledge of this 

"^ J* J am ^vith perfect affection, 

Hon d Sir, your dutifull son. 

J. Trumbull, Jra*. 

My love & respects to mother, wife & all friends. 

Gov 1- Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 11 th July, 1777. Jou th Trumbull, Esq*, from Albany, efeour 
troop.s; Fort Ann ; party near Castleton. Rec>* 15"» vespere p Captain Lyon. 

1777.] OLIVER WOLCOTT. 7 r J 


Litchfield, 14 July, 1777. 

Sir, — I was honored with your favour of the tenth, 
and was glad to find that my conduct in sending part of 
Burrell's & Humphry's regiments have been approved of, 
especially since such had been the confused accounts 
which we had rec d from the northward as to render the 
utility of any step which might be taken uncertain. Major 
Willcocks who is to take the command of Col. Humphry's 
men tells me but few of them turn out, so that he appre- 
hends that he shall not have more than a Captain's com- 
pany out of that regiment, and the men go forward more 
slow than I expected. The number from Col. Barrel- s regi- 
ment are considerably deficient ; how many of them have 
gone forward I cannot certainly say. The men attempt 
to justify themselves on acc° of the season's being busy, 
and say they will fight the enemy nearer home. I am 
sorry to discover these neglects, as it must render our 
strength, in particular exigences, uncertain. I should 
have sent by express the inclosed intelligence but sup- 
posed that your Excellency must most certainly receive 
the acc° of our people's having evacuated Tyconderoga 
and Fort Independence, by the time I could transmit the 
acc°. But as Gen 1 Wadsworth, who has just pass d this 
place for Albany, told me that no certain acc° had been 
rec d of this strange event when he left the Council, I 
have transmitted the inclosed original certificates, tho' I 
beleive the? will convev no information. Why the Forts 
were evacuated is still a matter of utter uncertainty. 
Our garrison amounted, I understand, to 4100 men ; the 
enemy are said to have been about six thousand. I do 
not learn that there was the least contest before our 
people left the Forts, after which, it is said, the enemy 
attacked Warren's regiment who bro't up the rear, which 


regiment, it is said, has suffered mueli ; and it is reported, 
so as to gain some credit, that our people got an advan- 
tage of the enemy in an encounter at Fort Ann. I cannot 
say where our army are, it is said by some that they went, 
at least some of them, to secure some stores at Benning- 
ton. Nixon's brigade are gone up, which together with 
the other forces, the militia of Albany and Berkshire 
County and the people on the Grants, will, I apprehend, 
be sufficient to prevent the enemy from penetrating into 
the country. But as by the enemy's gaining possession 
of these Forts and stores they will be able to make per- 
petual inroads upon the out settlements, their distress 
must be great. To oblidge us to keep up a large force at 
the northward and keep us in perpetual alarm so as to 
draw T off our attention that way, while Howe with the 
main army of the enemy carrys on his operations in a 
manner which may best second these mischeivous designs, 
may perhaps be the plan of the enemy ; and if so their 
veiws I should imagine were directed up the North River 
and to the eastward, for should the enemy go to Phila- 
delphia I do not see how they would in any immediate 
manner cooperate with the northern enemy, but rather 
leave them exposed to be ruined or at least drove back. 
I am your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant, 

Oliver Wolcott. 

GoY r Trumbull. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. P r Favor Co 1 Peck. 

Providence, 14th July, 1777. 

Sir, — Co 1 Peck is charg'd with the conveyance of 
General Prescot, his Aid de Camp M r William Barring- 
ton, and the General's servant to Lebanon, to be under 
the care and direction of your Excellency untill the 
pleasure of General Washington is known relative to 


the disposal of them. I have already wrote to him on 
the subject. I have taken the parole of the General k 
his ADCamp, confining them to the First Sosciety of 
Lebanon untill your Excellency takes them under your 
care & direction. The chief reason for this was a possi- 
bility your Excellency might be from home when the 
Co u arrives at Lebanon ; in that case Co 11 Peck will leave 
the written parols at your Excellency house. The Gene- 
ral at present seems very submissive & well pleased with 
the treatment he has had, not only since he arrived at 
this place, but from Co 11 Barton & party, and seems well 
suited that his present destination is at Lebanon under 
the protection of a gentleman of your Excellency's char- 
acter. By General Washington's letter of the 7th instant 
to Governor Cooke, it appears that there is some reason 
to fear the enemy are coming to New England. I hope 
it will not be so ; for we here are in a most miserable 
weak state. The people in this State are growing ex- 
tremely careless & stupid. I am much perplexed what 
to do ; the enemy may easily pray upon us. 
I am, with great respect and esteem, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, hum. servant. 

J. Spencer. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 14 th July, 1777. Maj r Gen 1 Spencer, de Maj r Gen 1 Prescot sent 
here w th his Aid de Camp prisoners, p Col Peck, rec d 15 th ins'. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut, Lebanon. 

Peekskill, 15 tb July, 1777. 

Hon ed Sir, — I came here yesterday, from Ramapough, 
about 20 miles distance, at the Clove of the mountains. 
There I left Gen 11 Washington with his whole army, 


'waiting the motion of the enemy; the latest accot 8 we 
have from them are, that they are all on board their 
transports, some in the East River, but principally fallen 
down to the Hook. This we rather look on as a blind, & 
expect them up this river to cooperate with Gen 1 Bur- 
goine. At any event we are ready to follow wherever 
they may lead us. We have a very bad acco* from Ty. 
It is said it is high time that America had a Bijng. I be- 
lieve we shall catch one now. 

I am returning again iihediately to the General, & 
expect to meet there a Comittee from Congress, on the 
affairs of my Department, which is wholly at a stand. & 
I am fatigued almost to death, with it ; have been 
obliged to stand at the scales myself. All the mone} T in 
the universe would not tempt me to serve another three 
months such as the last. I hope it will be better soon. 
With proper salutations to all the family & friends, I am, 
Hon rd Sir, 

Your dutifull son. 

Jos : Trumbull. 

Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 15 th July, 1777. Comissary General at PeeksKill, de the 
enemy's embarkation. His Department. Rec d p Brown, 19 th vespere. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esa r , Governor of the State 
of Connecticut. Lebanon. P M T Brown. 

Sidman's, in the Clove, 17 th July, 1777. 

Hon™ Sir, — I have just rec d your's of 14 th ins' p Brown. 
I wrote you yesterday from Peekskill. I have nothing 
material to add. The enemy's ships are now up near N. 
York, the whole fleet, & yesterday a small ship & three 
tenders came up into Haverstraw Bay. We rather ex- 
pect them to be the forerunners of the whole fleet com- 


ing up the River. If the fleet is bound to sea lliey go out 
with this wind; if they do not go, we may expect them 
up the River the first good wind. Gen 11 Washington has 
sent to Gen 11 How, to offer Gen 11 Prcscot for Gen 11 Lee. 
We know no more yet from the northern department; 
nor have I heard what Congress think of that matter. 
We want a Byng. I believe we shall have one now. 
I am, Hon rd Sir, 

Your dutifull son. 

Jos: Trumbull. 

Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Clove, 17 th July, 1777, Comissary General. A small ship & 2 
tenders in Haverstraw Bay. Whole fleet ready to sail. Uncertain. Reed. 
19 th vespere, p Brown. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, State of Connecticut, Lebanon. 
Albany, 19 th July. J. Trumbull, Jun r . 

Albany, 19 th July, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I have wrote you twice since the unhappy 
(as we now think) evacuation of Ty & its dependances. 
These I trust you must have received, 'tho they were not 
come to hand when General Wadsworth came off. One 
went by a M r Wheeler of Salisbury, going to Providence ; 
the other by Mr. Smith of Mi[dclle]town. 

The inclosed to my brother contains what] further I 
can comunicate. I expect Gen 11 Wadsworth from Fort 
Edward this day or tomorrow ; by him I hope you will 
obtain more k juster accounts than I am able to give. 
Fort George with every thing appending was in flames 
the 16 th ; stores all removed; the garrison drawn back to 
the main body. A little more retreat g must bring them 
to this place. I am, 

Hon' 1 Sir, Your most dutifull. 

J. Trumbull Jun r . 



Fokt Edward, July 10 th , 1777. 

Sir, — General Wadsworth delivered me your Ex- 
cellency's letter of the 12 th instant. He will inform you 
of the situation of our army, and its probable strength, 
for we cannot with any degree of certainty determine 
their numbers. 

The evacuation of Ticonderoga has occasioned much 
speculation and a great diversity of opinion, & been im- 
puted to a variety of causes. Some say it was done by 
my order. This I am at liberty positively to deny. 
Indeed, the general officers that were there have pub- 
licly done me justice on this head. I am also at liberty 
to say that it was done by a resolution of the general 
officers in Council, together with Colonel Long who com- 
manded a brigade. What the principles are that induced 
them to the measure are contained in their written pro- 
ceedings, and in which they were unanimous. Copy of 
this paper I do not conceive myself at liberty to give to 
any person, untill my superiors shall have decided whether 
it ought to be made public or not. 

Part of the enemy continue at Skenesborough, another 
part at Castleton, and a detachment of about 600 of which 
has advanced towards Colonel Warner, who is at Man- 
chester. The remainder are coining by Lake George. 
What their strength is at each place I am not perfectly 
informed of. 

Very few T of the militia of your State have made their 
appearance. Those from this State are all ordered out, 
and have chiefly come. And although part of them 
ought to go home to save their crops, yet it would not 
be prudent to permit them untill more come up. I 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


therefore wish that yours may be sent on as speedily 
as possible. 
I am, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant. 

Pii : Schuyler. 

His Excellency Jon th Trumbull, Esq r , &c, &c. 


Fort Edward, July 21 st , 1777. 

Sir, — The great impatience expressed by the militia 
from the County of Berkshire in the State of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and by those of the County of Albany in 
this State (who were all ordered up) to return to their 
habitations to harvest their crops, has induced a Council 
of general officers held at this place to advise that half 
of them should be sent back, lest the whole should have 
left us. Before this diminution of our force, we were 
inferior to the least number that any accounts we have 
recieved from the enemy makes them. Inclose you copy 
of proceedings of the Council, and entreat that what they 
recommend to be furnished by the State of Connecticut 
may be speedily complied with. The enemy are very 
busily employed in opening a road from Skeensborough 
towards us, and doubtless mean to attempt a passage 
into the interior part of the country. It is therefore of 
the utmost importance that we should be so reinforced 
as to be able to prevent them from carrying their in- 
tentions into execution, and I doubt not that b}* your 
exertions we shall soon have a reinforcement. I am 
Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant, 

Ph : Schuyler. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ens. 



Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

£* Express. 

Albany, 22 d July, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Since Generals Wadsworth's leav g this 
town nothing very material has occurred. All matters 
above, as far as I am acquainted, remain in statu quo. 
The enemy att Fort Ann & Skeensborough, some in TV, 
some employed getting their water craft into Lake George, 
some in the Grants, what their particular intentions I 
will not pretend to say. It is past a doubt with me, that 
they intend a further inruption into the country ; they 
have every encouragement in the world from the man- 
ner of our evacuat g the fortresses & the precipitate flight 
they have experienced from only the appearance of their 
arms. What opposition can the} 7 expect from people 
who will not stand to receive a single fire ? This opinion 
perhaps may lead them into some fatal step. Our men 
will fight if officers will lead them ; the men are certainly 
not in fault. 

General Arnold passed thro town yesterday, in short 
time from Congress, on some particular errand, at the 
special request of General Washington on the present 
occasion. When measures are taken I may be att liberty 
to speak. 

Inclosed you will find General Burgoyne's Proclama- 
tion of 2 d instf, addressed to the people att large, also 
his sumons to the inhabitants of the Grants, with General 
Schuyler's answer to the latter. These are not made 
public here. I have obtained a copy from particular 

I wish some Continental troops could be sent this way, 
a good body. Burgoyne is a push 8 genius, & elated with 
success. Militia are poor dependance opposed to such 


an enemy. I think it of the last importance that the 
enemy should not possess themselves of the navigation 
of this River & comunication with Canada. 1 fear the 
greatest danger att present is att this end of the State; 
our enemy, the General, is more active, vigilant & 
enterprizing than his coadjutors below. Our resoursces 
are not so easy. A loss of this part of this State will 
have the most unhappy influence on our Indian allies & 
neighbours, besides it is the granary of this country. 
Our Indians who were to have been here 15 th instant to 
a talk with Comissioners are now come down ; tis said 
they are first to hold a conference with Butler & perhaps 
Sir John att Oswego. After this they may come here. 
I hope ivemwj be here to receive them. I am, with duti- 
full respects, Hon d Sir, 

Your obedient son, 

Jon a Trumbull, Jun e . 

I have covered to your care a number of letters. M. 
Shaw, M. Mumford or Jere Wadswortk will take them. 

Indorsed : 22 nd July, 1777, Paymaster Trumbull, cie situation of affairs 
at Albany. Rec d p Dutchman Express, 25 th P. M. 


Mis Excellency Governor Trumbull. Lebanon. 

Albany, 25 th July, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Yours of 23 d p Brown gives me pleasure, 
being the first since I left Lebanon near two months ago. 
I wrote you the 19 th or 20 th p one Doct r Eagar who told 
me he was going direct to Lebanon. He was gone long 
eno' for you to have received it before yours of 23 d ; 
hope it has not miscaried. Another letter I sent three 
days ago p express going from Gen 11 Schuyler ; that will 
certainly reach vou. 

Our Utile army are now retired to Moses Kill & Snouk 


Kill two or three miles below Fort Edward. All the 
houses, barracks, stores, &c, att the latter place are 
burned & destroyed. It seems a maxim with General 
Schuyler to leave no support to the enemy, as he retires. 
All is devastation & waste when he leaves; by this means 
the enemy will not be able to pursue so fast as they could 
wish. Want of carriages, I am told, will be a great hin- 
drance to their progress ; they were not provided, it seems 
from Canada; & I rather think their 2 d tour into the 
Grants was for obtain 6 means of conveyance by land. 
The people there I believe were not so complaisant on 
that head as they expected to find them. The evacua- 
tion of Ty I fancy took them (the enemy) as much on 
surprize as it did the country. It does not appear they 
were prepared for any further operations att that time. 
Ten days or a fortnight I fancy will put our people into 
a scituation to stand. If we can obtain that time from 
the enemy, & in that time we are reinforced from below 
with 2 or 3,000 Continental troops, I shall hope we may 
make an effectual opposition. But, if otherwise, I will not 
pretend to insure consequences. I wish General Wash- 
ington may not continud [sic']^ in fallacious information 
respecting this Department, He has been most egre- 
giously deceived. I wish his eyes may be opened to the 
necessity of a reinforcement this way. 2,000 men can 
be no great loss to him ; it may be the saving this part of 
the country. I wish it may not prove that Gen 11 How is 
keep g Gen 11 Washington dancing to a phantom below, 
while the real object is in this quarter. If ive have no 
more troops to be depended on, I expect soon to decamp 
from this place ; the consequences of such success to the 
enemy I need not mention to you. 

* Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., was a very rapid writer, and wrote a very legible hand; but 
he was also very careless, and often left out words, letters, and parts of letters, though it is 
seldom that his meaning is doubtful. Here he evidently meant to express a wish that 
General Washington may no. depend on fallacious information, but that is not what he 
wrote. — Eds. 


Two days ago a party of the enemy surprized our ad- 
vanced pickett, killed 7, & wounded 13, 3 of which are 
since dead. Ten fine brass field pieces are gone up. I 
cant say much of the spirits of our people. Those who 
are escaped from Ty with Gen 11 S fc Clair are much fatigued 
& worn out, can scarcely be called men. General Nixon 
has about 1000 fresh men; about 500 were in garrison 
att Fort George. Besides militia these are the main 
dependance. One half the militia are gone home, the 
other half uneasy. I wish General Washington could 
see our scituafion ; I am sure he would give us a reinforce- 
ment. The Lord reigneth ; all events are in his hands. 
This consideration should suppress too anxious thots. I 
am, with all respect & affection, Hon d Sir, 

Your most dutifull son. 

Gov Trumbull. J TRUMBULL, JuN*. 


Lebanon, 2G th July, 1777. 

Sir, — Your letter by General Wadsworth of the 19 th , 
& last evening your other of the 21 st , are duly recieved. 

The evacuation of Ticonderoga and the Mount with 
the cannon, ordnance stores, ammunition, tents, cloaths, 
&c, doth violently agitate the minds of all friends to the 
cause of America. Some cry, Treachery, others Coward- 
ice ; all blame. The country are effectually roused ; their 
spirits are not broken ; their ardour is inflamed. 

When your last came in, letters were prepared for 
General Washington, to which I have added a P. S. "I 
have just recieved a requisition from General Schuyler 
for a reinforcement of one thousand men from this State. 
I concieve the best we can do may be effected by your 
(General Washington) ordering Continental troops, who 
can move forward sooner, and their room supplied with 
Col Enos's battalion now in service on the western parts 


of our seacoast, and their station filled by militia, if neces- 
sary, which we hope to find otherwise. Col Enos's bat- 
talion is enlisted for the defence of the seacoasts and 
frontiers of this State and parts adjacent, without expec- 
tation of a lengthy march. I shall give orders to our 
brigadiers of militia to draught and equip men to march 
on the shortest notice. While this is doing shall wait 
your approbation of the measure, and be ready to carry 
the same into execution." The express is gone, and w T ill 
return with all possible dispatch. 

I congratulate you on the capture of Maj r General 
Prescott, which I trust will procure the releasment of 
Gen 1 Lee, and bring on a general exchange of prisoners 
which we so much w T ish for. 

We have one thing set over against another, that we 
may find nothing after God. He reigneth and doth all 
thimrs right. Let us trust Him for our salvation. His 
judgments are a great deep. His mercies are above the 

I am, with great truth and regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, humble servant. 

Jo> tTH Trumbull. 


Moses Creek, July 27 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Last evening I was honored with your Excel- 
lency's letter of the 22 nd inst. I wrote you on the 19 th 
by Gen 1 Wadsworth, and on the 22 nd by express, the lat- 
ter covered sundry resolutions of a Council of general 
officers held at Fort Edward on the proceeding day. It is 
probable that an idea will be entertained in the country 
below that the army under my command is very respect- 
able in point of numbers, as the militia from four States 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


have been called for. Indeed, I was in hopes that we 
should have been considerably reinforced. The state of 
the army is this : — 

About two thousand seven hundred Continental troops, 
one third of which is composed of aged men that ought 
never to have been sent, of boys, or rather children, and 
negroes that disgrace our arms, — indifferently armed, 
almost naked, without blankets, circumstances which 
must necessarily bring on disease. 

Militia from the State of Connecticut, — one Major, 
one Captain, two Lieutenants, two Ensigns, one Adju- 
tant, one Quartermaster, six Serjeants, one Drummer, 
six sick, and three rank and file fit for duty, the rest, after 
remaining three or four days, deserted us. Of those 
from the County of Berkshire in the State of Massachu- 
setts, who consisted of upwards of 1200, half of which 
were to have remained, somewhat more than two hun- 
dred are left, the remainder having also deserted. Of 
Col Mosely's regiment from the County of Hampshire 
in the State of Massachusetts, about ten or twelve are 
left, the rest having deserted. Of Col Porter's regiment 
of the County of Hampshire about two hundred are left. 
Of the militia of the County of Albany in this State one 
thousand and fifty-one are left, being forty-six more than 
half of what were on the ground when it was resolved to 
let half return to their habitations. 

This, Sir, is our force with an enemy much more 
numerous advancing against us, well appointed, flushed 
with success, and encreasing by the constant accession of 

It is with great pain that I am drove, to the necessity 
of remarking that unless the militia of your State and 
that of the Massachusetts turn out in great numbers, 
with more spirit and expedition, and behave better when 
they join us, inevitable ruin must ensue, for although we 
are resolved to make as obstinate a resistance as such a 


small body can do, yet unless some very unexpected 
events arise, and we are timely supported by militia, our 
hopes of being able to prevent Gen 1 Burgoyne from pene- 
trating to Albany are not very great. I must therefore 
most earnestly request your Excellency to send me at 
least two thousand militia from your State, and to order 
them to march with the utmost expedition by the way 
of Albany, where camp kettles are provided for them. 

That torpor, that criminal indifference which is so evi- 
dent, that want of spirit which so generally prevails, is 
much more dangerous to us than all the efforts of the 
enemy. Nor is that jealousy and detraction which so 
unhappily prevails of small detriment to our cause. 
Many of the officers of the militia from the County of 
Hampshire, the priest who accompanied them, and almost 
all the soldiery, declaimed loudly against me and all the 
general officers who were at Ticonderoga. Traitors, 
cowards, and villains are the epithets bestowed upon us. 
Some accuse me of having, as they say, with traiterous 
intentions sent too much provision to Ticonderoga, whilst 
others charge me with having given orders to detain it. 
Others charge me with having ordered the heavy cannon 
to be dismounted, and light ones placed in their stead, 
with a variety of other matters equally false and in- 
jurious. In short every art is made use of to destroy that 
confidence which it is so essential the army should have 
in its general officers, and this too by people pretending 
to be friends to the country. 

I am, Sir, with great esteem and respect, 
Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant. 

Ph: Schuyler. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 



July 27 th , 10 o'clock, A. M. 

Sir, — Since writing the within the enemy with call 
their force are arrived at Fort Edward, and Gen 1 Arnold 
thinks from their movements they mean to attack us to- 
day. Let me therefore intreat you to hasten up the 
militia, that if we should he obliged to retreat we may 
be supported and make a stand elsewhere. 
I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

Ph: Schuyler. 

His Excel y Gov r Trumbull. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

State of New York. Kingston, July 27 th , 1777. 

Sir, — The Council of Safety has directed me to trans- 
mit to your Excellency the enclosed extracts of a letter 
from Major General Schuyler. The condition of the 
Northern Department is become alarming and criti- 
cal. The evacuation of Ticonderoga was a very unex- 
pected event, and has been attended with an unhappy 
influence on our affairs ; the people are disgusted, disap- 
pointed and alarmed. 

The Council are constrained to observe that it is not in 
their power to afford Gen 1 Schuyler much aid. Five 
counties of this State are in the possession of the enemy ; 
three others are disunited by malcontents who meditate 
a revolt and are attempting to avail themselves of the 
present troubles to advance their interested purposes, in- 
somuch that all order and government has ceased among 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


them. Of the remaining six counties, a third part of the 
militia of three of them, namely Orange, Ulster, and 
Dutchess, has been in actual service ever since May last 
and are yet in the field ; Westchester has been so har- 
rassed by the incursions of the enemy from New York, 
that during the last winter and almost ever since, their 
militia have been obliged to provide for their own de- 
fence ; a third part of the County of Try on are ordered 
to embody without delay ; and a considerable proportion 
of Albany are already marched or marching to the field. 
Add to this the number of inhabitants constantly em- 
ployed on the communications, in transportation, &c., &c, 
and the still greater number who, tempted by prospects 
of ease or profits, have quitted this invaded State, and 
sought inglorious quiet among our more peaceful neigh- 
bours, and your Excellency will perceive how greatly our 
strength is exhausted. Heaven has blessed us with a 
plentifull harvest, and it deserves consideration that 
other States besides this will be affected by the loss 
of it. 

It is unnecessary to observe to your Excellency that 
the destruction of this State will bring the horrors of 
war to the doors of many who now seem idle spectators 
of it. 

We hope the State of Connecticut will on this occasion 
exert herself in a manner becoming the character she 
hath hitherto sustained in the scale of American impor- 
tance, and that New York will not be left unsupported in 
this day of trial. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant. 
By Order. 

Pierre Van Cortlandt, Pres dt . 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 



Lebanon, l 8t August, J 777. 

Sir, — Last evening at 9 o'clock I recieved from 
Kingston an extract of your letter of the 24 th ult° to 
the President of the Council of Safety of N. York, with 
a letter from him requesting the aid of militia from this 

Eight o'clock this morning I recieved yours of the 
27 th ult°. Mine of the 26 th had not come to your hands, 
when you wrote the 27 th ; to that you will please to 
turn. The express went forward with my request to 
his Excellency General Washington the same day, and is 
not yet returned. The 2S th I recieved a requisition from 
Maj r General Putnam at Peekskill, in consequence of or- 
ders recieved from General Washington, for five hundred 
militia to join him, assigning the march of General Wash- 
ington's army for Philadelphia as the reason of this 
demand. Orders have been given Brig r Gen 1 Silliman 
accordingly. I have pressed General Washington in a 
letter of the 28 th ult° to send you three or four thousand 
Continental troops, which might be suddenly thrown up 
to your quarter to prevent the career of the enemy. This 
I did knowing such troops much easier got on the ground, 
and better for the service. I find Maj r General Lincoln 
& Brig* Gen 1 Glover with 1400 troops were arrived at Al- 
bany the 28 th , unknown to you when you wrote on the 
27 th . I have put our whole militia in the best posture 
for defence, and one fourth part of them to be in readi- 
ness to march on the shortest notice. I hoped for the 
return of my express before this, and apprehend it neces- 
sary to wait for General Washington's answer. He has 
sent Continental troops to you, & he will expect me to 
fulfill my undertaking with him. 

I am, with esteem & regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 
Hon b!e Maj r Gen 1 Schuyler. J -1 L. 



To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq*, Governor of the State, 


In Council of Safety, Aug. 1, 1777. 
Sr, — It gives us pain at this critical & alarming sea- 
son to trouble you with private cases, but it is the duty 
of this Council at all times to extend their protection to 
the good subjects of this State. M r Comfort Sands, our 
Auditor General, has in behalf of himself, M r Peter Van- 
dervoort, Colonel Joseph Drake, & M r Richardson Sands, 
all subjects of this State, made application to us for the 
interposition of this Council concerning a quantity of 
sugars their property detained in the State of Connec- 
ticut. From his information their case is as follows. In 
the month of October & Novem r last, those gentlemen 
purchased 80 hogsheads sugar at Providence in the State 
of Rhode Island, which at the time of the enemy's descent 
on that Island they transported to the State of Connecti- 
cut, with intent to import them by land into this State. 
Soon after the importation of these sugars into Connec- 
ticut, a law was passed in your State to prevent the ex- 
portation of West India goods, without a special permit 
from the Governor. We are further informed by those 
gentlemen, that some time since they obtained a permit to 
convey. their whole quantity of sugars out of the State of 
Connecticut, that in consequence of such permit they did 
export a part of them, & that in attempting to export 
three hogsheads & one tierce, that quantity was seized 
by the Sheriff of Hartford for the use of the troops in 
your State. They further alledge that they have been 
offer d for their sugars £3. 6. lawfull money, the price 
limited by a law of your State, a price which they say is 
greatly below the first cost. The aforesaid gentlemen are 


all # refugees from different parts of this State which are in 
the hands of the enemy, & those of them who reside in 
your State cannot be consider' 1 as voluntary residents, & 
in this view are to all intents & purposes, except that of 
a temporary allegiance to Connecticut, subjects of this 
State. We flatter ourselves, that our brethren of Con- 
necticut feel for the calamities of the subjects of this 
State too sensibly to add to there distress. Be pleased, 
Sir, to consider that by whatever laws the wisdom of your 
Govern[ment ?] may think it necessary to bind the proper 
subjects of your State, great indulgence ought to be 
allowed to our much distress 3 & unhappy subjects. Ex- 
cluded as we are from the benefit of the seaport towns of 
this State by an unrelenting enem}^ who have made New 
York the seat of war, our sister States afford the only 
passage for the introduction of foreign necessaries into 
this State. If therefore, Sir, the laws of your State should 
be so framed as by their letter to prevent the exportation 
of those necessaries acquired by our subjects out of your 
State, we hope you will interpose with your Legislature & 
endeavour to procure an exemption in favour of the sub- 
jects of this State, to the end that the only channel of 
necessary imports may not be shut up against us. 
We are, Sir, with the greatest respect & esteem, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servants. 
By order of the Council. 

Pierre Van Coetlandt, Pres dt . 

His Ex c * Governor Trumbull. * 

Indorsed : Kingstown, State of New York. President V. Cortlandt. de 
sugars, &c, belongs to Sands, Vaudervoort, &c. — liberty to transport them 
to N. York, 1st August, 1777. 



On publiek service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq*. 
Lei anon. -P returning express. 

Faikfjeld, August 2 d , 1[777.] 

Sr, — As I wrote your Excellency in my last that I 
intend[ed going] to the westward the next morning, I 
accordingly went. And pr[oceeded] as far as the Saw- 
Pitts, and found the guards at the difTere[nt] posts in good 
order, but very badly supplied with flints ; but [have] 
furnished them since with a few from those which I 
received from your Excellency, which are now almost 
exhausted. They are an article not to be had this 
way any where ; if tis in your Excellency's power I 
beg leave to say that I think it is very necessary that a 
number of Hints should be sent into every town on the 
sea-side, and to all the others if it can be done. Upon 
your late orders to this brigade to be ready to march at 
the shortest notice, I found them surpriseingly destitute, 
but have supplied them with a very few, which was all I 
could do. 

Col° Enos's companies that were ordered this way are 
at their posts ; and all the militia that were on duty are 
dismissed, except those that were raised b} T inlistment to 
serve through the season, who are retained still in service. 
Those in this town I wrote your Excellency about in mine 
of the 22' 3 . Those at Stanford are only 1 Serf, 1 Corporal 
& 13 privates w[ho] are annexed to Cap* Bradley's com- 

* Gold Selleck Silliman was born in Fairfield, Conn., May 7, 17-32, and graduated at 
Yale College in 1752. He was educated as a lawyer, and for a time held the office of county 
attorney under the Crown. Becoming interested in military affairs, he was made colonel of 
cavalry and afterward a brigadier-general. His principal service was in the defence of ihe 
southwestern part of Connecticut. In May, 1779, he was taken prisoner in his own house 
by the British, and carried to Kong Wand, where he remained on parole for about a year. 
He was finally exchanged foi Judge Thomas Jones. He died in Fairfield July 21, 1790. 
See Appleton's Cyclopaedia >f American Biography, vol. v. p. 527: Jones's History of New 
York during the Revolutionary War, vol. ii. p. oO'J ; Dexter's Biographical Sketches of 
Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 294-296. — Eva. 


party till further orders. [The] numbers of the troops 
posted in the different towns are sma[U ;] but I omit the 

numbers as Col Enos will now be able to ma[ke] his 
return. Beside these there are at Stratford two small 
guards, one consisting of 1 Leiu*, 2 Serj ts , 1 Corp 1 , 1 Fifer 
& 17 Privates; the other consists of 1 Ensign, 1 Serj*, 1 
Corp 1 , 13 Privates raised & stationed there by Act of As- 
sembly passed in Decern 1- last. There are also a few men 
belonging to the train in Fairfield, Norwalk and Stanford, 
perhaps about 50 in the whole (the returns are at present 
mislaid) ; from these hints your Excellency will be able 
to see what number of men there is on duty in this 
County, including those belonging properly to Col° Enos's 

At Stanford on my return from the westward. I found 
some of the soldiers (those belonging to the train in par- 
ticular) that mutinied and totally refused to do their duty; 
because that by a late order of your Excellency & Coun- 
cill of Safety, their allowance of provisions was reduced 
lower than the Continental establishment/ They urged 
that by the standing law of this State passed in Decem- 
ber they were entitled to the same pay & rations as the 
Continental troops, and refused their duty on that account. 
I told them that if they thought themselves agreived they 
took the wrong way to obtain releif ; they ought to do 
their duty quietly, and make their representation to your 
Excellency & Councill ; or if they desired it I would do it 
for them. But told them that in the mean time I must 
insist upon it, that every man should quietly return to his 
duty ; and told them that if they choose to do it I should 
expect to know it by 9 that evening, otherwise I should 
think it my duty in the morning to take proper measures 
to oblige them to do it. The same evening they sent to 
let me know that they would all quietly do their duty, 
and desired that I would make this representation for 
them. I dont know what the reasons may be for this 


reduction of the allowance of provisions. 1 presume we 
have provisions plenty, as I observe that the Vineyard 
boats go frequently from these parts loaded with pro- 
vision, without res [train t.] I have heard that there is 
now an embargo in this State, but [cannot] learn whether 
tis so or not. We have neither Act of Assembly [nor] 
Proclamation in this part of the State about it. If it can 
[be done] I could wish the soldiers might have their usual 
allowance, as I [suppose] it will be difficult to keep them 
quiet without it. 

The soldiers this way have no salt to use with their 
fresh p[rovi]sions, and in my tour to the Westward last 
week I engaged some of the salt-makers to supply them 
at the rate of 36/ p bushel. But Col Davenport told me 
afterward that this State had salt of their own, that did 
not cost more than 12/ p bush 1 and advised me to borrow 
of the Continental Commissaries until it could be obtained, 
which I afterward did ; and should be glad that your 
Excellency would direct some to be sent forward for the 
use of the soldiery and to enable me to repay what is 

Three deserters from the enemy at Huntington have 
come in this week, who say that at Huntington they have 
300 men, and at Setauket directly opposite to my house 
the enemy [have] about 250, and that they have made 
store houses of, and are [rais]ing fortifications around 
the meeting houses in those [places] ; they further say 
that the fleet from New York sailed ou[t of] the Hook 
last week. This account I also had last week [from] one 
of our own soldiers, who says that last week on M[onday] 
he was at the south side of the Island opposite to Jamaica, 
and saw the British fleet without the Hook, to the num- 
ber of upward of 100 sail, make sail & stand to the east- 
ward and that on the Thursday night following he made 
his escape. 

Since I began this I have rec d your Excellences orders 


of the 30 th ult, and shall endeavour to execute them in 
every particular according to my best ability. 

I observe your Excellency says no Brigade Majors are 
yet appointed and that I must procure some person to 
assist me to collect the returns, &e. I beg leave to ob- 
serve to your Excellency, that every Major General is 
always esteemed to have a right to appoint his own Aid 
De Camp, a Brigadier his own Brigade Major, and every 
Col his Adjutant, and I never heard that this right was 
ever contested, but in a single instance, and that was 
where an Adjutant General took a particular pleasure in 
disobliging gentlemen of note from a particular part of 
the contiment. I observe our Act of Assembly orders 
that Colonels may appoint their Adjutants. This I con- 
ceive to be immaterial, as they have the right to do it 
without the Act. Last year I appointed my own Ad jut* 
for my regim*; and afterward when I had the honour to 
command a brigade, I appointed my own Brigade Major. 
Upon this ground when I found myself under a necessity 
of the assistance of one this spring, I appointed one who 
has been in service ever since, himself & horse. And it 
would have been impossible for me to have done without, 
nor had I the least suspicion of my right to do it. I hope 
when your Excellency adverts to the subject that you 
will not think it wrongs 

I am, most respectfully, 

Your Excellency's most obec?, hum. s*. 

G. Selleck Silliman. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

P. S. Your Excellency will observe by the date of 
this that it is not possible to [torn'] return on the 1 st of 
August. I have lon^ since called for returns on the 
l 3t May {torn] two months after, but have never yet 
[torn] I believe [toni\ to the officers [torii] to the 
tumultuo [torn]. 


P. S. August 2 d , 8 o'clock, P. M. 

Sir, — Since writeing the foregoing a flag of truce 
arrived from New York, and brought in Cap* Bebee of 
Litchfield, k Lt. Loreing of Boston, who were taken at 
Fort Washington, and one master of a vessel and four 
seamen who have been exchanged. 

Cap 11 Beebee tells me he came out of New York on 
Thursday last, and says the enemy's fleet really went out 
at the Hook the begining of last week ; and that there 
did not when he came away appear to be any prepara- 
tion for going up the North-River, nor were there but 
few shiping then at N. York. He says further that the 
principal part of the troops the enemy left behind them 
are at King's Bridge commanded by General Clinton. L fc 
Loreing says that by the best account he could get he 
takes it that the whole of the troops at King's Bridge 
and N. York are about 4,000. I have begged the last 
N. York paper of Cap* Beebee, in order to send it to your 
Excellency, together with two others of earlier date, as 
I suppose you dont get them often. In the last you will 
see an account that their fleet were got near the mouth 
of the Delaware. You will also see the disagreable news 
that Commodore Manly is a prisoner. On the whole I 
am inclined to believe that the enemy have really gone 
away to attempt the conquest of Philadelphia, but shall 
observe your directions to be in readiness for the worst 
as far as tis in our power, and am, as before, 

Your Excellences most obed fc & most hum 6 serv*. 

G. Selleck Silliman. 

Indorsed : Aug. 2, 1777. Brig r Gen 11 Siliiman. Came to hand y e 4 th , de 



Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 
Albany, G fh Aug\ J. Trumbull, Jun r . 

Albany, G th Aug Et , 1777. 
IIon d Sir, — It is now more than a week since my last 
to you p Gen 11 Schuyler's express. Have had no oppor- 
tunity since that. My last I think left our army att 
Moses Creek ; by two steps they have now arrived att 
Still Water, 24 miles from this town. Here, I believe 
they really design to make a stand, it being the place 
they have for some time past had in view. Their late 
retreat 8 has been apolitical movement. I begin to doubt 
whether the enemy will put themselves into the trap. 
Gen 11 Lincoln is gone over to the Grants, to take the co- 
mand of a body of militia collecting there to Col Warner ; 
'tis said their number is more than 3,000, & increasing. 
The enemy begin to cast a jealous eye on this collection. 
Our numbers with Gen 11 Schuyler are about 6,000, includ- 
ing militia ; the Continental troops rising of 4,000 & these 
recovering their spirits, & beginning to shake off their 
panic. The Indians have spread great terror by laying 
in wait, surprizing & scalp* & otherways inhumanly 
butchering unhappy straglers. Some innocent families 
& individuals have undoubtedly suffered by Tories in the 
garb of savages, but providentially a great proportion of 
them who have suffered in their own houses & about their 
houses have been Tories themselves. This spreads a 
general panic among that class of animals, who begin to 
think their is no faith in Master Burgoyne, nor any safety 
in his protection. Some tis said have even been found 
dead with protection M their hands. Gov r Skeen has his 
house ornamented with scalps. Some of our prisoners 
have been tormented in the most shock 8 manner (it is 
said) in Skeen's presence ; some burnt, others dismem- 


bered of their hands, &c. Their cruelties are too horrid 
to dwell upon. I 

Twelve Indians are this day come to town, eight Cag- 
naivagas & 4 Oneiclas, with good intentions I fancy. The 
Oneidas continue fast friends; they are going on to Gen- 
eral Schuyler; say that the enemy consist of about 6,000, 
Indians & Canadians included, — of the two latter about 
200 each. The Cagnawagas had been invited, but re- 
fused join ? . They also say that Sir Johns force consists 
of about 400 red coat soldiers, 200 Indians & 200 Tories, 
&c, & that they hope Fort Stanwix will not run away as 
Tyconderoga did, without fight g , &c. We are just in- 
formed that a firino; of cannon was heard att Fort Stan- 
w r ix on Sunday last. An express comes down with the 
acc° from German Flatts, & says that the militia are all 
in motion, 700 of whom were collected under General 
Herkeman when he left. Col° Van Schaick went from 
this town with a few Continental troops yesterday; when 
he arrives the N° of Continental troops in the western 
quarter will be about 8, or 900. Fort Stanwix is a good 
scituation ; the works not compleatecl ; they have 12 peices 
cannon of smaller size, none more than 12 ves , pretty well 
provided with artillery stores ; not so well with pro- 
visions as I could wish; the garrison has good officers & 
men who are determined to fight. I have hopes of them. 

I cant learn from the northward that Burgoyne ad- 
vances much with his main body. We have been chiefly 
annoyd by flying parties. By the best intelligence I can 
obtain I dont conceive their numbers to be more than 6, 
or 7,000 in the whole. All seem to agree upon 200 In- 
dians, & not more, [torn] men onlj 7 are said to be left 
in Ty & Mount Independance. The fleet protects that 
post. The scenes of distress with the poor inhabitants 
flying from their farms k habitations are truly moving; 
their crops of wheat & corn are amazing — all destroyed 
or left; & many of the poor people nothing to subsist 

1777.] HORATIO GATES. 100 

upon. The public must supply them provisions. May 
Divine Providence protect N. England from these savage 
depredations ! but why ? I hope in Divine Mercy. 
I am, Hon d Sir, your dutifull son. 

J. Trumbull, Jun\ 

Indorsed : Jon t:i Trumbull, Esq 1- , Albany, 6 th August, 1777. De Motions 
of the Army & Enemy. De fort Stan.wix, &c. 


Philadelphia, August th , 1777. 

Sir, — I am directed by the most IIon ble the Congress 
of the United States to apply to the executive power of 
the State of Connecticut for a reinforcement of seven 
hundred and fifty militia to be immediately sent to the 
headquarters of the northern army. The critical situa- 
tion of public affairs renders it unnecessary for me to 
urge your patriotic State to the most expeditious com- 
pliance with this requisition. I hope it will be sufficient 
to say that the northern army, if timely reinforced, may 
by the blessing of Divine Providence obtain a victory over 
our implacable enemies, and prevent that ravage and 
misery, with the terror of which they vainly hope to awe 
the eastern States into unconditionable submission. Con- 
fident, Sir, of your zeal and attachment to the common 
cause, I rest assured of your exerting your best endeav- 
ours to serve your devoted country. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's obedient and hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ed5 



Albany, August S th , 1777. 

g IR? — Your letter of the 1 st of August was delivered 
to me on my way to this plaee. I am extremely sorry 
that you have taken a measure which I am sure will not 
procure me a single man from General Washington, for 
he has long since advised me that he could not spare one, 
and that I must expect no farther reinforcement from him, 
a measure which I hope is the occasion that none of your 
militia have yet joined us. I wish it may he remembered 
that I have made early & repeated application for assist- 
ance ; that I have had only about one hundred from your 
State, and these deserted a few days after their arrival. 
I greatly apprehend that assistance from the eastern 
quarter will come too late. Perhaps it may not, if no 
delay is made in forwarding the militia. Let me there- 
fore in treat you not to lose a moment in so necessary a 
business, on which the salvation of a country depends. 
That General Glover's brigade was on the way tome when 
I wrote on the 27 th I well knew, although you suppose I 
did not. I wish he had brought any thing like fourteen 
hundred men with him. General Lincoln brought his aid 
de camps and two light horsemen. 

The militia from Berkshire and Hampshire counties 
w r ill leave me in four or five days. Notwithstanding the 
weak condition we are in, Col Long's regiment from New 
Hampshire, who were enlisted for a twelve month and 
whose time expired yesterday, marched off to a man,. nor 
could a bounty of twenty dollars prevail on one of them 
to stay untill the first of December. Neither the one or 
the other evince that they have much regard for their 
country. I am this moment advised by express that Gen 1 
Heirkemer, who marched with the militia of Trvon Countv 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ed3. 


to reinforce Fort Schuyler, was attacked on his march 
near the Fort, that he is killed, and the militia cut to 
pieces. That county also cries to me for assistance. I 
wish I had it to afford them. 

I am, Sir, with esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, lible. servant. 

Ph.: Schuyler. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull. Lebanon. 
Albany, W h Aug 1 . J. Trumbull, J r . 

Albany, 8 th Aug*, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — As usual I have only a moment's notice 
of the express going off. I wrote you two days ago p 
M r Larrabee going to Windham ; not much transpired 
since that is material, unless another advance back- 
wards of our army may prove so. Tis now said that 
Still Water is not good ground to stand upon ; another 
retreat therefore must be made to better place. I think 
our Generals seem very nice in their choice of ground. 
I hope they may be suited e'er long. It seems very odd 
that our retreat g is so rapid that we can scarcely keep 
within hear? of the enemy, or even know where they 
are. All may be for the best. I could wish, however, 
that I could see a disposition to stand. I fear this will 
not be the case untill we have a change of some officers. 
Our people have lost their spirits, & I fear will not 
recover them untill they have some person in whom they 
can replace their confidence. Is it possible Congress 
knows our scituation? & leaves us to our own fortune 
still ? To add to our misfortunes, sickness k disease is 
preying upon onr army. Doct r Potts just shew me a let- 
ter in which he is informed that what from disease & 


other causes our army is reduced to not more than 4,000. 
I understand Gen 11 Lincoln is ordered to join General 

While writing I am told that General Herkerman 
with the militia at the westward has had a smart skir- 
mish with a party of the enemy (Tories & Indians) at 
Fort Dayton, German Flatts ; that the enemy were drove 
with loss on both sides. General Herkemar is himself 
wounded, Col Fisher killed & several others. Particu- 
lars are not ascertained ; 'tis some consolation that our 
people will fight at some place. I dare say our northern 
lads would fight also, if they might stand long eno' to 
collect their spirits a little, & might be indulged with 
comanders in whom they can repose confidence. The 
effect is the same, whether their prejudices are well or ill 
founded Adieu, Hon d Sir, 

Your dutifull son, 

J. Trumbull, Jun*. 

Are we to have no regular post rider this way ? tis 
surprizing we have not. Is not our Department of im- 
portance eno' to bear the ex pence of regular intelligence. 

Indorsed : Jon th Trumbull, Esq , Albany, 8 th August, 1777. De Retreat* 
Army. The Enemy not heard of. "Jsews from Westward, Gen 1 Herkemer's 


Lebanon, 9 th August, 1777. 
Sir, — I this moment recieved your letter of the 6 th 
inst. Since my last I recieved General Washington's 
letter to Maj r Gen 1 Putnam of the 1 st instant, requesting 
effectual assistance to repei the enemy at Peekskill, to 
prevent their passing the Highlands, and to apply to me, 
which he did. I have given orders for three thousand 
men to march thither. I trust many of them are arrived 
before this time, and the rest will be soon on the ground 
for their aid. 


I wrote early to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to 
send you succours, pressing its necessity. From the 
former I recieved a letter last evening, informing that 
they were sending two thousand. These two States lie 
most convenient to send for your assistance ; this to 
Peekskill. I hope they will lose no time. I think we 
have not failed in a service, equally necessary, to prevent 
the junction of the enemy's two armies. 

I am, w r ith truth & regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

J . T L. 

Hon ble Maj r Gen 1 Schuyler. 


Albany, 11 th Aug 51 , Monday Eve*. 

Hon d Sir, -—I have the pleasure of yours p M. Brown. 
I am very sorry I have it not in my power to give you 
intelligence to your wishes. Our run of misfortunes 
seems not yet to be att an end ; sorry I am to say, I see 
but little prospect, from all I learn, to apprehend a 
speedy alteration. I rather fear a greater increase. 
Our army continues retreat g ; a depression of spirits 
hangs upon them, which seems to be comunicated to the 
whole country, & this increasing from an apprehension 
that very little if any support is like to be given from 
N. England. We hear of almost none yet in motion. 
Allowances are made for the apprehensions on acc° 
of the Generals eomand 8 ; they have flattered themselves, 
however, that their resentments would not by N. Eng d 
men be suffered to carry them to such lengths as to 
make them neglect their own safety, — however con- 
tented they might think them under some heavy strokes 
on this country. An idea begins to take that languor & 
supineness prevails, tbat every one is for sitt g att home 


& wait 8 the approach of the enemy at his own door, or 
fondly thinks that danger is still att a distance. 1 wish 
there was not too much appearance of this. 

It must be known e'er this that the Generals are 
ordered to head quarters, that Congress are tak g meas- 
ures for an enquiry. Now then is the time to step forth, 
& shew our brethren that our excuses have not been 
meer pretences. The necessity of speedy & large rein- 
forcements is beyond expression great. I wish they 
may not come too late. This town is just falling; if the 
army makes one more move towards it all is lost. It is 
probable they will move to-morrow ; no place between 
this k Still Water where they even can scarcely stop 
with any hope of stand g against an approach 8 enemy. 
I gave you a stating of numbers in my last. No in- 
crease since then ; but a great diminution by sickness & 
com 8 off of militia. Is it possible our scituation is known, 
or is it not attended to ? I am almost inclined to think 
that a penetration from this quarter & possession of all 
this part of the country, which will be the case as soon 
as Burgoyne comes to this city, will be of more serious 
consequences to the United States than even How's 
obtain 8 the city of Philadelphia with its surround 8 coun- 
try. The consequences of the Indian incursions will be 
most shock 8 , if not fatal to the whole. N. England has 
almost lost the idea of such troubles ; but, this country 
gone, they will soon have a most terrible recognition of 
those horrid scenes. If WO Indians now strike terror & 
dismay not only on the inhabitants but into a whole 
army, what must be the effect when whole western tribes 
are let down without restraint. I am shocked, I am sur- 
prized, I am astonished att the drowsy supineness k iner- 
tion of my countrymen. Certainly it is better to keep 
danger at a distance than combat it att our own doors. 
I will say no more ; you '11 think I am too sensible of the 
nearness of danger. 


Our last accounts leave Philadelphia Tuesday last. 
They were then in great perplexity about the enemy's 
movements. General Washington in Phil* ; his army att 
German Town; General Sullivan tend 8 towards N. River. 
I sometimes fear AT How is only amusing in front, while 
the back door is left wide open for M r Burgoyne's unmo- 
lested entry. 

I gave you in my last a broken acc° of an advantage 
gained westward over the enemy att German Flatts. It 
is not so well as first related, tlio it is very good ; our 
men behaved extreamly well. General Herkemer with 
700 militia of Try on County marched for the relief of 
Fort Stanwix ; 3 or 4 miles on this side he was waylayed 
by the enemy, who gave him a heavy fire. He made a 
good disposition for attack & defence ; some of the mili- 
tia failed him ; others remained very firm, tis said for 6 
hours. A bloody battle insued ; the militia have suffered 
much, so have the enemy. Of the latter, Maj 1 Watts 
(brother in law to S r John) is dead ; W m Johnson (a 
famous Indian, natural son of S r W m ) is killed ; also 
Jos. Brant, (the famous Indian incendiary). A brother 
of General Herkemer is also among the dead (a Tory) k 
many others, some say 50 Indians. Of ours some valu- 
able officers k principal men & Comittee of Tryon 
County are dead ; the General, wounded soon in the 
action, was placed on a stump, where he sat during the 
whole, with a pistol in one hand k sword in the other, 
giving his orders & comand g with great spirit k bravery, 
his wounds stream 5 with blood — a noble example. Dur- 
ing the action a letter was stolen into the Fort, in conse- 
quence of which 200 of the garrison comanded by Lieu* 
Col° Willet sallied on the enemy, drove one part of their 
encampment, beat a reinforcement sent to their support, 
& returned into the Fort laden with spoils from their 
baggage, burn 8 k destroy 8 what they could not carry, — 
the latter consist* of tents, provisions, &c. &c, & many of 


the enemy dead on the field. The person who went into 
Fort with the letter is returned, says Col° Gansevoorfc is 
determined to hold out to the last & will cat the leather 
of his shoes hcfore he gives up. The militia were obliged 
to retire ; the fort is still invested. A reinforcement 
gone up about six days ago will I hope reanimate the 
militia to join once more on another attempt. 'Tis said 
they would turn out as yesterday. I hope much from 
that garrison. I think M r Burgoyne's approach must be 
regulated in some measure by good or ill success of that 

The' country about is in a distressed scituation ; the 
inhabitants flock g in, leav g their fine crops & every 
thing almost behind, but their families & children. Such 
a scene I never saw. Distress is in every corner. In- 
dians mixed with Tories carrying terror in every quar- 
ter, almost as low as this city. The next move of the 
retreat g army will bring them around if not into town. 

The news yesterday of the new comanders gave some 
animation, but all seem almost purswaded it is too late to 
stop M. Burgoyne from reach g this place. Some special 
interposition, / think, must take place, or this must be the 
event. A flying army, dispirited troops, confused, un- 
disciplined soldiers, unanimated officers, no reinforce- 
ments — afford a gloomy prospect. 

12'* in morn 9 . Nothing material of news since last 
evening. Gen 11 Lincoln has been eastward, is ordered 
over, will take the cohland, & Gen 11 Schuyler & S* Clair 
repair to head quarters. 

I inclose a letter to Br° Jack. I send it open, contains 
a return of the garrison of Ty. You '11 please after in- 
spection to seal & send it forward. I wrote you twice 
last week ; have you received ? 

Your most clutifull son. 

[No Signature.'] 

Indorsed by the Governor: 11 th Aug 1 , 1777. Jon Trumbull, Jun r . 

1777.] PniLir SCHUYLEU. 113 


Stillwater, August 13 th 3 1777. 

Sik, — Your letter of the 9 th inst. was delivered Die 
between ten and eleven o'clock last niffbt. 


I am extremely sorry that I have it in my power to 
remark that every answer of your Excellency to my re- 
peated applications for assistance from your State has been 
so worded as to convey ideas that no aid was intended to 
be sent us. I differ, Sir, very widely in opinion with you 
that the reinforcement sent to Peekskill is equally neces- 
sary to prevent the junction of the enemy's two armies, 
as if it had been sent here. General Washington is in 
march to Hudson's River, and will probably reach it before 
the enemy can attempt to penetrate from New York. 

General Burgoyne is advancing towards us with an 
army already greatly superior to what we have here, 
and daily encreasing ; and the moment he arrives at 
Albany his numbers will in all probability double. Our 
whole Continental force here does not exceed three thou- 
sand four hundred effective rank and file. We have not 
forty militia on the ground. Those from Massachusetts 
having left us to a man, and instead of two thousand 
coming from that State, M r President Sever writes me, 
that orders had been issued " for the march of one sixth 
part of six regiments in the County of Worcester, and 
one in the County of Middlesex." Such is the situation 
in which this army and this part of the unhappy State of 
New York is left. It shall, however, not be said that I 
have been wanting in my application, and I therefore 
renew my request for two thousand militia from your 
State to march without a moment's delay. 

I am, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, hble. servant. 

His Excellency Jon™ Trumbull. Ph: SciIL'YLER. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 



Hartford, lG th August, 1777. 

Sir, — Yours of the 13 th is recieved this minute. It is 
surprising that the Continental troops are reduced to 
three thousand four hundred effectives. Nixon's and 
Glover's brigades, we were informed, amounted to 2,100. 

What is become of the whole garrison that were at Ty 

&c. ? We have sent three thousand or thereabouts to 
Peekskill, on the earnest requests of Generals Washing- 
ton and Putnam, when the alarm came from that quarter 
of the return of the fleet. 

The Assembly have ordered one half of three regi- 
ments of troops of horse to go on directly for Albany, 
and a regiment of 728 men to be filled and marched to 
that place, and aid and assist the Continental army. The 
unexpected events at the northward have had an un- 
happy influence to render it difficult to send aid from 
hence to that quarter. Our Assembly are ready to afford 
their strength and assistance for the defence of this and 
our neighbour States. Shall rejoice to see our army 
freed from their panic, and that the aids from the 
eastern States and this may arrive in season to animate 
the army. We have an extended seacoast. The State 
of Rhode Island rely on us for assistance. New York 
may depend on our exertions for them. A further con- 
sideration will be had of j 7 our requisition. Shall expect 
information by M r Brown, my returning express. 
I am, with great truth & regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

J T L. 

Maj* General Schuyler, or in his absence The Cominan 1 in Chief in the 
North" Department. 

1777.] PAUL SPOONER. 115 


YniJioNT [ Ix CouNCIL 0F Safety. Benington, Aug. 1G, 1777. 

Dear General, — I am directed by the Council to 
congratulate your Honour on the success of the American 
arms in an action which happened in the close of the 
16 instant, about seven miles from this place, at a place 
called Wallomsback, consisting of between three and four 
thousand (by the best intelligence) of the enemy and 
about two thousand composed of militia from N. Ham- 
shire, Berkshire County, part of Col. Warner's regiment 
of continental troops, four companys of rangers and the 
militia of this State, under the command of the brave 
Brigadier General John Stark of N. Hamshire. In the 
action the enemy were driven from their batteries, leav- 
ing three field peices behind them, one six and two 
three pounders (brass). We pursued the enemy's rear 
nntill they were reinforced by two regiments of fresh 
troops, with which they renewed their attack ; and after 
an obstinate resistance of two hours, the enemy were 
obliged to give ground, leaving behind them one 9 pound 
brass cannon and 60 British and French horses ; night 

* Not much is known of the personal history of Dr. Paul Spooner, who was a con- 
spicuous figure in the annals of Vermont, and who ■' is believed to have been well educated, 
and to have had a good professional reputation." He was a member of a convention 
called to condemn the Boston Port Bill, a member and acting secretary of the Vermont 
Council of Safety, a delegate to Congress, a member of the Council under the State 
Constitution, Lieutenant Governor, and a Judge of the Supreme Court, besides holding 
other offices of lesser importance. If an anecdote related in the History of Eastern Ver- 
mont may be credited, he was held in a somewhat peculiar respect by one at least of his 
contemporaries. "On one occasion," we are told, "the Rev. Elisha Hutchinson, the first 
minister of Pomfret, Vermont, was preaching a sermon at Hartland, in a private house, 
when Mr. Spooner entered the room. Pausing in the midst of his discourse the reverend 
minister informed his audience that he had 'got about half through' his sermon, but as 
Governor Spooner had come to hear it, he would begin it again. Then turning to a woman 
who sat near him, he said, ' My good woman, get out of that chair, and let Governor Spooner 
have a seat, if you please.' Mr. Spooner was accommodated, and Mr. Hutchinson repeated 
the first part of the sermon, much to the edification, it is supposed, of those who had al- 
ready heard it." See Vermont Records, vol. i. p. 120; B. H. Hall's History of Eastern 
Vermont, pp. COS, GOO; Hiland Hall's Early History of Vermont, p. 4G9. — Eds. 


coming on oblidged our troops to stop their further pur- 
suit, as the darkness would have rendered their march 
hazardus. The loss on our side is computed at less than 
thirty, the wounded are so scattered in different houses 
in this vicinity that their number is not known. The 
enemy's loss as far as it is at present known is as follows — 

Killed in the field 200 Canadian officers 2 

Wounded come to hand 100 Surgeons G 

L* Colonel, since dead 1 Chaplan 1 

Major 1 Aid de Camp 1 

Captains 7 

Lewtenants 14 Amongst the killed was one M r 

Ensigns 4 Foster, Col Commandant of the 

Cornets 2 Tories, and a number more of 

Judge Advocate 1 the principal officers of that 

Barron 1 core of mercenaries. 

Rank and file British 37 

Hessians 396 

Canadians 32 

Tories 155 

from the north part of the State of N. York, except about 

30 belonging to this State. N. B. By a letter of the 

enemy s which fell into our hands we learn that 30 rank 

and file and two Indian chiefs were killed by a scouting 

party of ours the day before, which is not enclosed in 

the above account. A number of prisoners have since 

been brought in, which makes the number of rank and 

file amount to about seven hundred. 

Signed by order of Council. 

Paul Spooxek, Dep ty Secretary. 
To Gen 1 Oliver Wolcott. 


Indorsed: 16 th Aug 8 ', 1777. Copy of letter from Paul Spooner. Esq., 
Bennington ; de fight, &c, enclosed from Brigad r 01. Wolcott. 



Albany, 16 th Aug'', 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Inclosed I send you a narration of occur- 
rances att Fort Stanwix since the enemy's approach 
there, taken from Lieu* Col Marin us Willet, an officer of 
great merit & principally concerned in those transac- 
tions ; also a little sketch of the Fort & its capability for 
defence ; with the enemy's strength against it. The Col 
gives a relation of General Herkerman's action much as 
we had heard before & as I have heretofore comunicated 
to you. He thinks the enemy's total loss in both attacks is 
att least three hundred dead, great part of which loss has 
fallen on the Indians, who in consequence are much 
disquieted. Our loss in killed, wounded, & missing is 
about 160. Had the whole of the militia stood firm, in 
all probability General Herkerman would have given the 
enemy a total overthrow. However as it is, the whole of 
the affair has manifested a very signal interposition of 
Divine Providence in our favour, — the arrival of the 
boats with stores, amunition, &c, the very evening that 
the enemy approiched & the safe conducting them into 
the Fort is not the least mark of Providential care. 

General Arnold, with one small brigade, is gone as re- 
inforcement to the westward, are now on their inarch. 
I still continue to hope much from the westward. 

Gen 11 Burgoyne we hear is mak g an expedition east- 
ward, to Bennington. Gen 11 Fraser comands with 1,500 
men. Gen 11 Lincoln is gone to comand our forces col- 
lected in that quarter to oppose him. Scenes of opera- 
tion multiply fast; none of our eastern brethren yet 
come in. 

A small expedition formed to disperse a collection of 
Tories mak 8 up att Schoharry, about thirty six miles from 
this town, has occasioned the loss of one light horseman 


killed & three wounded. The Tories, T hear, were dis- 
persed, not routed ; are again collected ; have lost only 
one Indian, killed. A reinforcement to our small party 
is requested. This bunch of Tories is headed by a Cap* 
M c Donald, who has in his collection a number of Scotch 
Pladdies to join him, a Pladdie leader. 

\T h at evening. M r Brown is arrived with yours of 
15 th , am rejoiced to hear a prospect of some relief from 
Connecticut. Gen 11 Burgoyne must be excessive in good- 
ness, if he admits a delay, so that they can arrive before 
this city is gone. Our troops have not yet found any 
ground to stand on ; they are com s & will be this night 
all safe arrived att Half Moon. New City, & an island in 
the river whose south end is almost in sight of this town. 
How long they may rest their running limbs in this 
scituation I know not ; however, this I know, that the 
last remove from Still Water seems to people here almost 
as disagreable as the evacuation of Ty, as it has been 
generally esteemed almost the only ground proper for a 
stand between Fort Edward & this place ; & at this place 
every one knows there is no abiding an approach of an 
enemy without imense superiority. General Gates is not 
yet arrived ; he has touched att the Highlands to consult 
Gov r Clinton; will probably be here in a day or two, 
He is much needed & much wished for. All is confusion 
& disorder with the army & will be so till his arrival. 
There is scarcely the appearance of discipline. To your 
question — " where are the enemy ? " I scarcely know 
what to reply. Our army has almost run them out oi 
hearing. I cannot possitively say there are any of the 
enemy advanced further than Fort Millar ; there main 
body I believe to be att Fort Ed ward k gett g on to that 
post. Their numbers will probably be 6,000 on this side 
the lakes, including Tories, Indians, &c. What accession 
of strength the last movement of our army will give 
them, is uncertain. A large extent of country is laid 


open by this maneuvre, k all men arc not contented to 
leave their property when they think the whole country 
seems likely to fall. This hist move has also greatly ex- 
posed the western country to the irruptions of the enemy, 
k will, unless Heaven remarkably favours our arms in 
that quarter, greatty discourage our friends in those parts. 
Our accounts from the westward, since what is inclosed. 
are not very particular or minute. A son of Butler, with 
a party consist 8 of 14 whites k 14 Indians, coming among 
ilic inhabitants att German Flatts, under the pretence of a 
Jlcuje/, have been secured by the Comittee of the place 
k delivered over to Col Wesson, comancl g Fort Dayton. 
Their real errand was a design to seduce the people by 
throw" proclamations from Gen 11 S fc Ledger among them, 
of similar import of Burgoyne's, also letters k addresses 
from Sir John, Butler, k Closs. 'Tis observable that in 
the last letters the names of Sir John k Closs are 
both written with one hand, — not Sir John's. Tis tho't 
Ms hand will write no more. Our western prospect is at 
present very promising. Gen 11 Arnold will probably be 
att the Flatts tomorrow. I hope by the next return of 
Brown to give you a pleas/ account from that quarter. 
We are in hourly expectations of some important event 
turn g up in the Grants ; some skirmish 81 has happened. 
Our reports of numbers there are not possitive ; we are 
told General Starks has 3,000. This, I suppose, includes 
Warner. The militia of the neighbour 8 towns about 
Bennington have turned out with great alacritv & seem- 
ing spirit. General Lincoln is moved this day, with 
about 5 or 600 from our little army, to fall in k co- 
operate with Starks. This week, I fancy, is big with 
important events; may God direct their issue in our 
favour. You ask the numbers of our army. It is almost 
impossible to ascertain them ; they are really very small, 
— so small that there is a real necessity of retreating, in 
case the enemy approach, untill they can be reinforced. 


The militia are almost all gone off; the main body is 
reduced by send 8 off parties both east & west. It is my 
opinion that M r Burgoyne does not advance much farther 
un till he knows the event of his western k eastwern en- 
terprizes. The good or ill success of those will mark the 
fate of tills city & the whole country about it. 

We hear little or nothing of much import from Massa- 
chusetts. They are we hear resolving, not effecting much, 
I believe as yet. I wish a fatal lethargy may not have 
reached their vitals ; their limbs I am pretty well as- 
sured are much affected. It is of the last importance to 
yourselves as well as for our safety to hasten on what- 
ever troops you intend for us with the utmost expedition. 

IS** in morn 9 . This moment am informed by letter 
from Bennington that General Starks with his body & 
Col Simonds' militia had attacked the enemy, forced 
their little lines, & drove them one mile; taken upwards 
of 400 prisoners who are safe in Bennington. The killed 
on both sides considerable, not ascertained ; four brass 
field peices were taken. General Starks pursued, & was 
in action when the express came off. The enemy were 
reinforced. May God continue his goodness, & make us 
truly gratefull in his mercy. I am, Hon d Sir, 
Your most dutifull son. 

Jon a Trumbull, Jun r . 


Bennington, Aug* 18 th , 1777. 

Dear General, — The late signal success of a body 
of about two thousand troops, mostly militia under the 
command of Brigadier General Stark, in this part of the 
country, on the 16 th instant, over a party of about fifteen 
hundred of the enemy who came out with a manifest 

* Printed from a copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


design to possess themselves of this town (as will appear 
by the enclosed), is an event happy and important. Our 
troops behaved in a very brave and heroic manner; they 
pushed the enemy from one work to another, thrown up 
on advantageous ground, and from different posts with 
spirit and fortitude, untill they gained a coinpleat victory 
over them. The following is the best list 1 have been 
able to obtain of the prisoners, their killed and wounded, 
1 Lieu 1 Colonel, 1 Major, 5 Captains, 12 Lieutenants, 4 
Ensigns, 2 Cornets, 1 Judge Advocate, 1 Baron, 2 Cana- 
dian officers, and 151 Tories taken. The number of 
wounded fallen into our hands, exclusive of the above, are 
about eighty. The number of their slain has not yet 
been ascertained, as they fought on y e retreat for several 
miles in a wood, but supposed to be about 200. Their 
artillery which consisted of four brass field pieces, with a 
considerable quantity of baggage, likewise fell into our 
hands. We have heard nothing of Burgoyne or his army 
for two days past. The prisoners are sent into Massa- 
chusetts Bay, except the Tories ; shall wait youv direction 
respecting them, as most of the in belong to the State 
of New York. We have about 2,000 at and near this 

I am, dear General, with respect & esteem, 

Your very hble. servant, 
Maj r Gen 1 Schuyler. ]3. LINCOLN. 


To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull of Lebanon, 71010 at Hartford, or, if 
he is not at Hartford, to Gov'' Griswold or General Oliver Wolcott. 

Sir, — I have just rec d by express the inteligence, of 
which the inclos d is a copy ; the matter appear d doubtfull 

* Col. Charles Burrall was born at Simsbury, Conn., Feb. 21, 1720, Old Style, and 
died at Canaan, Oct. 7, lSCP. Besides holding the rank of Colonel in the Connecticut 
militia, he filled mimerou l offices in civil life, and acquired considerable wealth and 
influence. See Hinmau's Catalogue of Early Puritan Settlers of Connecticut, pp. 41S- 
420. — Eds. 


to me whether I had better order my rcg f/ to Benington 
or not on ace* of the distance, supposing that the affair 
would be decided before we could possibly get there ; but 
not knowing but that the enemy would gain the battle, 
in which case help would be wanted, k chusing rather 
at such a crisis to be too forward than too backward, I 
have & am now sending orders to as many of my reg* as 
can be equip* 3 , to march on horsback with the utmost 
speed towards Benington, & have sent you by express 
inclos d intelegence, together with my intended move- 
ment that way, for your Excellency's approbation or 
orders. I expect inteligence before w r e can march far, 
and shall conduct myself accordingly and continue or 
discontinue our march as shall appear best on getting the 
inteligence, until I receive your Excellency's orders. 
Gen 1 Wolcott I suppose is now at Hartford with you. I 
therefore thought best to send directly to Hartford by 
express to your Excellency, &c, &c. I am with the 
greatest respect your Excellency's most obedient & 
humble servant, 

Charles Burrall. 

Canaan, Augt 18 th , 4 o'clock, A.M. 

To his Excellency Got' Trumbull of Lebanon, now at Hartford. 

Indorsed : Col° Ch s Burrell, de Vermont fight, &c. 


To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull of Lebanon. Now at Hartford. 
On publich service. 

Sir, — I have this moment return* from Pittsfield, 
having, since mine of the 18 th by express to your Excel- 
lency, collected and march* about 400 of my reg* towards 
Benington as far as Pittsfield, where I met Major Thodore 
Sedgwick with verbal orders from Gen 1 Lincoln to stop 
all the militias that were on the road for Benington. The 
particalars of the Benington alarm, which was the occa- 


sion of our march, I have not fully collectd, but it is 
nearly this. About 1,200 of the enemy came from Fort 
Edward across the woods toward Benington, followed 
by a reinforcement of about 500 at some distance. Brig- 
adier Gen 1 Starks of the Hampshire militia with about 
600 men, with some ranging company rais d by the State 
of Vermont (as they call themselves) and part of Co 11 
Simonds reg fc of militia of Berkshire, amounting to about 
800 in the whole, advanc cl toward the enemy, found them 
on the road about 3 miles beyond Benington meeting;- 
house, posted on a eminence just over a bridge over a 
river, f ortify d within breast works and 4 brass field pieces. 
Gen 1 Starks order d two flanking partys secretly to wade 
the river at a good distance, and when they had flank' 1 
the enemy he with the remainder appear* in front for an 
attack, and drew the attention of y e enemy that way, 
when the flanking partys rush d on on both sides and 
carry* 3 the breastworks, took 400 prisoners & 4 brass can- 
non, from 3 to 6 pounders, then persu d the remainder 
about a mile; when the reinforcement join d the enemy 
they made a stand, our people gave way, retreated per- 
haps GO rods, when a reinforcement on our side came up, 
and turn d out and waylaid the road, and let our people 
pass ; and when the enemy came between our waylayers 
they fir d upon y e enemy, kill d many; they gave way; 
our people con tin u d the persuit & fight till dark ; took 
a brass 9 pounder, 200 and odd prisoners, &c. The rest 
fled in the night toward Fort Edward. In the morning 
men were sent about 10 miles after them, found the road 
strew 4 with baggage, wounded k dead men, provison, 
&c. About 700 prisoners are on the road, consisting of 
Hessians, Brunswickers, Waldeckers, Canadians, Indians, 
Tories, & British, upwards of 400 ar[e] German, 170 
Tories; about 150 of y e enemy kill d , and great number 
wounded, that on the whole they return about 1,000 less 
than they came out. Our loss about 50 kill d and mortaly 


wounded. This was all perform* 1 by militia men under 
Gen 1 Starks. Gen 11 Lincoln came with a number from 
our army at Half Moon, but the action was over before 
he arriv' 1 . I have ben night and day employ d in this 
alarm ever since I rec d the express, on Sunday night 2 
o'clock. Now am at Cap 1 Whitney's, returning home at 
12 o'clock, &c. A man is now come here with catrdfres, 
flints, feel, from Cap* Lord, at Litchfield, with a copy of 
y r letter, by which I understand Co 11 Smith is coming with 
Co 11 Humphry's reg*, on the same erand on which 1 have 
ben. Cap* Whitney is not returnd. I directed the man 
that came with the amunition to lodge it with Cap* Isaac 
Lawrence, who keeps our town stock. . I have sent advice 
to Leu* Co 11 Smith of the orders we had by Major Sedg- 
wick to return home, &c, &c. I am your most obedient, 
humble ser*. 

Charles Burrall. 

Canaan, 19 th Aug*, 12 o'clock at night, 1777. 

To his Excellency Gov 1 Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 19 th Aug., 1777, 12 o'cio., at night. Col° Charles Burrell, de 
his going on alarm to Bennington, his return, p order Gen 1 Lincoln, acc° of 
events, &c, rec d 21 st ins* p L* Col Smith. 


Hartford, 21 st of August, 1777. 

Sir, — I am favored with your letter of the 6 th inst., 
wherein you request a reinforcement of seven hundred 
and fifty militia from this State, to be immediately sent 
to the headquarters of the northern army. It is ex- 
pedient to acquaint you that previous to the receipt of 
your letter, in compliance with the pressing request of 
General Schuyler, the Assembly of this State have 
ordered about two hundred of the light horse and two 
regiments of the militia of this State to march as soon 


as possible, to join the northern army, and the neces- 
sary measures taken to facilitate their march as fast as 
possible, agreeable to the acts of Assembly enclosed. 
These orders I have not thought proper to countermand 
at present, altho' the number is much greater than 
requested in your letter, as it is presumed you will be 
enabled much better to judge of the necessary numbers 
requisite for your assistance since your arrival in the 
Northern Department, and finding the situation of affairs 
in that quarter, than you could possibly be at the time 
and place your letter was wrote. 

However, it would be very agreeable to me, and happy 
for the militia of this State, if the number you have re- 
quested should still be thought sufficient in your opinion, 
that the remainder might, by counter orders, be excused 
from marching;. 

Upon General Washington's request through Gen 1 Put- 
nam three thousand of our militia have been lately 
ordered to Peekskill, many of whom are arrived at that 
post, and we have now a call for one battalion to go to 
Providence, to aid our sister State there, which makes 
the burden heavy and severe upon this State at present. 

Add to all this a considerable number of our militia 
are now gone off instantaneously to the assistance of the 
army near Bennington upon pressing request from that 
quarter ; how long they may be detained is uncertain. 
Under these circumstances it cannot be doubted you will 
request no greater number than shall be thought neces- 
sary for the public good. I am therefore to desire your 
further advice on this subject, as the whole number of 
light horse and two regiments of militia will pursue their 
march untill they receive counter orders. Yet it would 
be happy could you be able to advise me that the situa- 
tion of the northern army is such you have occasion still 
to request only the 750 militia. 

I most heartily congratulate you on your return to the 


Northern Department; cannot but hope the confidence 
which the troops will continue to repose in your com- 
mand, with the smiles of Divine Providence, will soon 
drive our enemies out of that quarter. 

I am, with esteem and regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 

J T L. 

22*. Col Burrell and the rest that set out for the 
assistance of our army at Bennington are returned. I 
congratulate you on the signal success at that place. 


(On Public Service) His Excellency Jon a Trumbull, Esq., Governor of 
the State Connecticutt. Lebanon. 

Council Chamber. Boston, Aug st 21 st , 1777. 

Sir, — We have rec d your favor of the 16 th instant; 
we are duely impress'd with the importance affording 
aid & support to the army in the Northern Department. 
Previous to the meeting of our Assembly the Council 
had, in consequence of an application from Gen 1 Schuyler 
to be reinforced with two thousand men from this State, 
ordered such a proportion of the regiments in the Countys 
of Middlesex & Worcester to march to the northward 
for the support of the army there as would, with the 
militia from the Counties of Hampshire & Berkshire, 
furnish that number of troops, and our Assembly, since 
that order, have directed one sixth part of the militia of 
seven Counties within this State to inarch to Bennington 

* Jeremiah Powell was bora June 3. 1720, and died at Xorth Yarmouth. Maine, in 
September, 1784, while on a visit to his ancestral estate, where a large part of his life had 
been passed. For many years he represented North Yarmouth in the Massachusetts House 
of Representatives, and was subsequently, for a long time, a member of the Council, of 
which he was President in the early part of the War of the Revolution. See Bradford's 
New England Biography, p. 33-4; Collections of tiie Maine Historical Society, vol. vii. 
pp. 233-238 ; Wfiitmore's Mass. Civil List, pp. 02-64, 121, 117, 151. — Eds, 

1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 127 

for the purpose aforesaid, which one sixth part will 
amount, we suppose, to near four thousand men • & since 
the rising of the Assembly the Council Lave further 
directed the brigadiers of the Counties of Hampshire and 
Berkshire, if they thought the service required it, to 
march the whole of the militia of the Counties aforesaid 
for the support of the army in the Northern Department. 
The Assembly have also passed the resolution now in- 
closed, in order to compleat our quota of the Continental 
troops assigned to this State. You have also inclosed a 
return of the officers and privates of the fifteen battalions 
raising by this State that have already marched made to 
General Heath, & also return from the muster masters of 
the numbers of men that have inlisted in said battalions, 
amounting to seven thousand eight hundred and sixteen 
men, so that } 7 ou will find, that instead of there being- 
raised, as you imagine, not more than one third of the 
fifteen battalions, there has been raised near three 

In the name & by order of y e Council, 

I am y r Excellency's most obd 1 Serv\ 

Jer. Powell, Pres dt . 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 21 st AugS 1777. Hon ble Jeremiah Powel, Esq 1- , President of 
the State of the Massachusetts Bay, de their Continental troops, inclosing 
their returns, &c, rec d 28 th ins 1 . 


On public service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, at Hartford, 


Peeks Kill, August 21 st , 1777. 

Sir, — Col. Morgan with a thousand riflemen is hourly 
expected here on his way to the northward. The vessels 
are ready to receive and carry them to Albany. 

Gen 1 Washington is still in Bucks County, and by let- 


ters from him of the 18 th Gen 1 Howe's fleet is still hover- 
ing at Sinepuxet inTett; designs yet remain a secret. 
He desires that a certain number of militia may be sent 
to continue three months at least ; and then we can 
know what we have to depend upon. Two thousand at 
least will be needed to be sent for the time afores d , and 
to relieve those that are here. 1/ Moore and Ensign 
Rusco have had their tryal and are casliired. 

Inclosed is a copy of a return of the innoculated in 
Connecticut belonging to the Continental army. I ob- 
serve a great difFerrence of the expence in different towns 
and don't understand the reason of it. Some are charged 
verry reasonably and some verry unreasonably ; I wish 
the matter might be inquired into and set right. I have 
sent the militia and light horse to White Plains to annoy 
the enemy and secure the inhabitants. 

From Gen ] Howe's motions and some other informa- 
tion I have gain'd, I am fully of oppinion that the fleet's 
hovering on the coast is only a decoy, that the next we 
shall hear of Gen 1 Howe and his army (at least the 
greater part) will be to the northward, whilst the main 
body of our army are attentive to the shadow, watching 
the motions of the fleet to the southward, the joint force 
of Howe & Burgoyne will be down upon us from the 
northward. I have many reasons for this oppinion. 

The following is a description of a person who came 
from Burgoin to G. Clinton at N. York, & is going back, 
— a lad about 17 years old, 5 feet 3 inches high, slim 
built, pock mark d , has the appearance of a Creaole, light 
brown hair & eyes. By very certain intelligence the 
enemy's strength consisted of 5,G00 only when Ty was 

Most re'spectfully, I am your Excellency's most 
obedient, humble Servant, 

Israel Putnam. 

Ilia Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 



Mohawk River, 10 miles above Fort Dayton, 
August 23 d , 1777, 5 o'clock, A.M. 

Dear General, — I wrote you the 21 st instant from 
the German Flatts, that from the hest intelligence I could 
procure of the enemy's strength it was much superior to 
ours; at the same time enclosed you a copy of the resolu- 
tions of Council of War, and requested you to send me a 
reinforcement of one thousand light troops. As the en- 
emy had made their approaches within two hundred yards 
of the fort, I was determined at all events to hazard a 
battle, rather than suffer the garrison to fall a sacrifice. 
This morning I marched from the German Flatts for this 
place. The excessive bad roads and necessary precau- 
tions in marching thro' a thick wood retarded us so 
much that we have but this moment reached this place, 
where I have met an express with the enclosed from 
Colonel Gansevort acquainting me the enemy had yes- 
terday left Fort Schuyler with great precipitation. I am 
at a loss to judge their real intentions, whether they 
have returned home, or retire with a view of eno\wino; 
us on the road. I am inclined to think the former, from 
the account of deserters and from their leaving their 
tents and considerable baggage, which our people have 
secured. I shall immediately detach about nine hun- 
dred men & make a forced march to the fort, in hopes of 
coming up with their rear, and securing their cannon and 
heavy baggage. My artillery, tents, &c, I shall leave 
here ; the batteaus with provisions follow me. As soon 

* Benedict Arnold was born in Norwich, Conn., Jan. 14, 1741, and served in the 
American Army with distinction in the early part of the War of the Revolution. In the 
summer of 1730 he entered into an intrigue to surrender West Point to the British, and on 
the discovery of his treachery fled to the British army, and accepted a commission as Brig- 
adier General in the service of the mother country. Subsequently he went to England, 
end died in London June H, 1801. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 
vol. i. pp. 9-3-96; S parka's American Biography, vol. iii. — Eds. 

t Printed from a copv in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 



as the security of the fort will permit, I shall return with 
as many men as can be spared. As I come down the 
batteaus shall be able to make great dispatch. I have 
sent an order for the light troops, if you have sent any, 
to return to you immediately, and the militia to go home. 

I am, &c. 

B. Arnold. 

IIon ble Majr Gen* Gates. 


Dear Sir, — This morning at 11 o'clock I be^an a 
heavy cannonade upon our enemy's works, which was 
immediately returned by a number of shells and cannon. 
About three o'clock seven deserters came in, who in- 
formed me that Gen 1 S 1 Lesrer with his army was retreat- 
ing with the utmost precipitation, soon after which I sent 
a party of about sixty men to enter their camps, who 
soon returned, and confirmed the above accounts. 

About 7 o'clock this evening Hanfort Schuyler arrived 
here, and informed that General Arnold, w T ith two thou- 
sand men, were on their march for this post, in conse- 
quence of which I send you this information. 
I am, dear Sir, 

Yours, &c. 

Peter Gaxseyoort, Col. 

To General Arnold, or the Commanding Officer of Troops marching to 
Fort Stanvvix. 

* Col., afterward Gen., Peter Gansevoort wns born in Albany, X. Y., July 17, 1749, 
died there July 2, 1812. He rendered good service during the War of the Revolution, and 
afterward filled various important offices. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biogra- 
phy, vol. ii. p. 589. — Eds. 

t Printed from a copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 



The Hon 1 ' 1 '- Jonathan Trumbull, Esq T , Gov r of the State of Connecticut, 
New England. Free. Delegates from Connecticut. 

Philadelphia, August y e 25 th , 1777. 

Sir, — Since ours of last Monday, when it was appre- 
hended Gen 11 How was gone for South Carolina, he has 
appeard with his whole fleet, as it is supposed, entering 
Cheesepeek Bay, & by the last accounts was up as far as 
where the river Elk enters the Bay. It is conjectured he 
intends landing at a place called Charles town, from whence 
it is probable his first design may be upon Lancaster, where 
we have large stores & some hundreds of prisoners. On 
notice of the fleet coming up the Bay immediate orders 
were sent to Lancaster to remove the stores & prisoners 
from thence to some place of safety. But Philadelphia 
may yet be his principal object, as he will have but about 
fifty miles march to this place, if this is his design. The 
only reason of his changing Delaware for Cheesepeek 
must be the concern he had of the fire ships & rafts, of 
which we had large numbers in this river. Gen 1 Wash- 
ington with his armv had lain about 20 miles from this 

* These three gentlemen were the Delegates from Connecticut at this time in attendance 
at the Continental Congress. Col. Eliphalet Dyer was born in Windham, Conn., Sept. 28, 
1721, graduated at Yale College in 1740, and studied law. He was a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Connecticut from 1760 to 1793, and a delegate to Congress from 1774 to 1779, and 
from 1780 to 1783, besides filling other important offices. He died in his native town May 
13, 1807. (See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. ii. p. 285 ; Annals of 
Congress, pp. 130, 487 ; Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. i. pp. 644- 
647.) Richard Law was born in Milford, Conn., March 17, 1733, graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1751, and also studied law. He was a member of the General Assembly and of 
the Council of Connecticut, and at two different periods a delegate to Congress, besides 
being a lawyer of eminence and a judge. He died in New London, Jan. 26, 1806. (See 
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iii. pp. 637, 638 ; Annals of Congress, 
pp. 251, 487; Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 257-259.) 
William Williams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was born in 
Lebanon, Conn., April 18, 1731. graduated at Harvard College in 1747. and died in Lebam n 
A.ig. 2, 1811. He was a delegate to Congress from 1776 to 1778, and again in 1783 and 
I78i, and held many other important offices. He married the second daughter of Governor 
Trumbull. (S^e Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. vi. p. 526 ; Annals 
of Congress, pp. 468, 487.) —Eds. 


city towards the Jerseys untill Thursday Inst, when, sup- 
posing Gen 11 How to have gone far southward beyond his 
reach, had determined to push up the North River & in- 
deavour a total rout of the enemy northward, if possible, 
at the same time to have attempted dislodging the enemy 
from New York, & have drove them in their detached 
parts from all their posts in the Northern & Eastern De- 
partment. Providence seemed to point out this season 
when How was at so great a distance, to accomplish all 
this before his return, bat, having that day received intel- 
ligence of the fleet pushing up Chesepeek, altered his rout 
& is now on his march to meet the enemy wherever he 
may find them on this side Cheesepeek. He marched 
thro this city } 7 esterday morning, about 8 o'clock, with his 
whole army, which made a very respectable appearance. 
The militia from this State, Delaware, Maryland, & the 
nearest Countys in Virginia are ordered to join him. It 
is rattier thought that Gen 11 Washington's forwardness to 
meet him in this quarter, especially if the militia join him 
as is expected, will again discourage How's attempts this 
way, but if not have the greatest hopes with the blessing 
of Heaven that here he may recieve his final overthrow. 
And we are yet in hopes, notwithstanding Gen 11 Washing- 
ton's being diverted from the northward and eastward, 
yet if New England (on the present divided state of How 
& Burgoin's army) will properly exert themselves and 
rightly improve the advantages put into their hands, they 
may by the blessing of Heaven effect a most happy close 
to the present warr before this year expires. We hope 
Burgoin's success (however blameworthy the gen 11 officers 
in that quarter may have been) will by the disposals of 
Providence prove his ruin & destruction. Congress have 
done what lay in their power to remove the complaints 
of the people, recalled the officers concernd, ordered the 
strictest scrutiny & are making every preparation for a 
full, fair k impartial tryal. They have sent such officers 

1777.] ELirilALET DYER AND OTHERS. 133 

to command in their room in that Department as they 
thot most acceptable to the people & in whom they might 
confide, both for skill & fidelity, that we shall have no 
excuse for ourselves or the people whom we represent if 
they should now fail to offer themselves readily & chear- the cause of their bleeding country. We hope, 
we trust, they will no longer drouse or sleep until] the 
tommahawk awake them in their own dwellings & habi- 
tations. The notable affair of Gen 11 Stark with his party 
seems to open a happy prospect of future success in that 
quarter, if properly follow" 1 & pursued, which God grant. 
This, with the success of Co 11 Herkemer & Willet near Fort 
Stanwix, & the distraction of so large a number of the 
savages at their first onset, are most seasonable interpo- 
sistions of Providence in our behalf when every thing 
look'd gloom}' in that quarter. The great & weighty 
affairs of our Confederacy, the supplies of our Treasury, 
giving credit & s[t] ability to our depreciating currency, 
are objects which we trust will very soon be attended to, 
tho we have been unhappily diverted therefrom by other 
matters, tho not so important yet necessary to be done. 

We have the honour to be, with the greatest esteem & 

Your Honor most obed fc , h le serv ts . 

Eliphalet Dyer. 

Rich d Law. 

W M Williams. 

By the best computation we can make Gen 11 Washing- 
ton army of Continental troops amount to between ten & 
eleven thousand fit for duty ; expects to be joined by about 
7 or 8 thousand militia. 

Gov r Trumbull. 

13-4 THE TKUMBULL PAPERS. [177 7. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Governor of y" State of 
Connecticut, Lebanon. Free. W. Williams. 

TnuS, Aug 1 26, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Since ray last of ab* y e 19* h ins 1 , I have 
bj T the good hand of Providence been regaining my health, 
have been able to attend Congress ever since, tho I re- 
cover strength very slowly; am not able at this time to 
write M rs Williams. You will please to let her & my 
other dear friends know y e better state of my health. 

In a joint letter of last even g we informed you of the 
intelligence we have of y e Howes' fleet & army, there is 
a report the army is landed at George Town k Frederic 
Town, up Sassafrass River in Maryland, but I believe 
very uncertain, as no express has brot it. It is said they 
had a most remarkably safe & quick passage up Cheasa- 
peak Bay. that there is comouly more danger in that 
navigation than a West India or European voyage, & that 
a single ship is generally 8 days in getting as high as the 
whole fleet arrivd in there. I trust their design must 
have been to attack this city, that they were deterd from 
attempting it up this river by finding our army so near, 
& so much fire craft, &c, prepared to meet them. (They 
have minute intelligence from those enemies of God & 
man the Tories.) It seems probable their next intention 
was to come up the Eiver Elk at y e head of y e Bay they 
are in, & within about 12 miles of New Castle & make 
their attempt that way, & have lain out of sight so long 
on purpose that Gen 1 Washington might return to his 
station, which by y e united opinion of his gen 1 officers he 
bad determind, & which was approved by Congress. & 
be^inin<r to execute the moment we were advised of their 

* See note, ante, p. 131. — Eds. 


being in the Bay, which occasioned his return ; he pasd 
thro y e city on Sat. fri6rn g last, another brigade pas' 1 yes- 
terday morn 6 *. 4,000 militia of this State are ordered k 
on the proper ground ; 1,000 from Delaware, 2,000 from 
Maryland, k upw d of 2,000 from y e nearest parts of Vir- 
ginnia are called upon k hope will be seasonable. Whether 
the enemv on getting intelligence of these things will 
think it prudent to hazard so much I cant say, but bedieve 
it is more than they expected. Indeed, were it not for 
the abounding sins k wholly unreformed state of the 
country, I sho'd dare to hope that God in mercy had 
blinded the minds k darkned the councils of enemies k 
turned them into foolishness. I know not what may yet 
be, but it wo'd seem they had lost the season, & must 
render their troops sickly on ship board so long in extreme 
heat, k neglected for them a happy season to join k co- 
operate with Burgoyne, or fall upon other parts of N. 
England, k effectually prevent any succours to y e nor- 
warcl, k so leave in Burgoyn's power to accomplish his 
raire, whilst Howe miffht have ravaged k desolated our 
country k reduced us to amazing distress, k effected more 
than the conquest of this city; but we know not what 
[with ?] certainty what is before us k may be sanguine, 
but this is certain N. England has vast occasion to bless 
& praise the Lord, for his wondrous mercy in our deliver- 
ance from the dreadful scourge. The distress had been 
beyond all description, had our enemy invaded them in 
so critical a moment. that there was an heart in our 
countrymen. May God in infinite mercy pour out his 
spirit upon us. I hope k trust is the earnest cry of all 
that love his name. 

I am glad to see a day of fasting is appointed in Con" 
k Massa. May we no longer mock y e Almighty with 
deceitful words from feigned lips. 

The time is elapsed k y e post on y e point of setting out. 
With compliments to y e gent, of your Councill & tender 


remembrance to my dear friend. T am & shall ever be, 
with great respect & highest esteem, 

Your most dutiful & obed son & serv\ 

W. Williams. 

His Excellency Gov 1- Trumbull. 

I hope you rec d mine by Sa. Hunt. 


German Flatts, August 2S th , 1777. 

Dear General, — The 24 th instant in the evening I 
reached Fort Schuyler, too late after so fatiguing a march 
to pursue the enemy that evening. Early next morning 
a detachment of live hundred men followed them ; soon 
after a heavy rain came on, which obliged them to re- 
turn, except a small party who went to the Oneida Lake, 
where they arrived just in time to see the last boats of 
the enemy going off ; the 2G th proved a rainy day, so 
that it was impossible for the troops to move untill the 
evening, when I sent off Col Livingston's and Col° Jack- 
son's regiments. Yesterday Bailey's and Wesson's left 
Fort Schuyler and arrived here last evening. The great- 
est dispatch is made in getting their boats over the Falls. 
You may depend on my joining you as soon as possible 
with my detachment. I have left Gansevoort's and Van 
Schaick's regiments, consisting of 700 7 at Fort Schuyler ; 
one company of the latter at Fort Dayton, and a second 
at Fort Johnson. They are supplied with two months' 
provisions and good store of ammunition. 

Yours, &c. 

B. Arnold. 

Indians of Oneida and Tuscarora exceeding friendly ; 
others not so; all, however, seem inclined to hold to the 

Printed from a copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1777.] ELJPHALET DYER. 137 

advice of fte Commiss rs to adhere io neutrality. The 
young men may easily be induced to join, &c. ; their 
chief s, kc. } hold off. 


His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, l?sq r , Gov r of the State of 
Connecticult. Free. 

Philadelphia, Sep fr 1 st , 1777. 

Sir, — Since our last, when we informed you Gen 11 
How had landed his army at the head of Elk, the enemy 
have made but little progress and have extended their 
army but about 4 miles. Gen 11 Washington has made 
his head quarters at Willmington, about 14 miles from 
the enemy, Gen 11 Green about 4 miles advanced towards 
them, with about 4,000 men. The militia of this country 
are daily reinforcing Gen 11 Washington and are employed 
in harrassing Gen 11 How's partys, which oblidge them to 
keep pretty close & compact. It is supposed our army 
now consists of near twenty thousand men under Gen 11 
Washington, k increasing. Our parties have taken about 
a hundred since their landing, including some deserters ; 
the enemy have lost a considerable number of their 
horses since they landed. Nothing appears discourageing 
in this quarter ; if the enemy should advance it would 
give us an advantage of throwing a large body of men 
in their rear. Appearances are favourable, but success 
is of the Lord, to whom w r e would commit our cause k 
hope for a prosperous issue. Congress are deeply en- 
gaged in financiering, in contriving ways k means. All 
agree in taxing largely, but that will not afford us im- 
mediate supplies. France k Spain offer to lend us. Will 
it do to borrow at least so much as to pay the interest by 
bills drawn on our Commissioners there ? Will that induce 

* See note, ante, p. 131. — Eds. 


our Continental bill holders to place their money in the 
loan offices as fast as we want it? Ought we, or does 
policy require, now our streights are great for speedy 
supplies, that in order to obtain them we may be oblidged 
to borrow on France & Spain sufficient to pay the in- 
terest by bills drawn in favour of our lenders on our 
Commissioners there, which will secure their intrest not 
only in specie but payable in Europe, whereby the great 
risque & charge of transportation is saved & will bring us 
considerably in debt to those foreign powers. I ask does 
justice or policy require we should put all the past lend- 
ers, & who have obtained their certificates @ 6 pr cent 
payable here in y e same bills they put in, on the same 
footing, which will much increase our debt abroad k will 
not help at all in bringing in present money into the 
loan offices. I know the old lenders will say yea ; but 
what will prudence & impartial common sense say? I 
hope we may act with discretion on these & other impor- 
tant subjects, but advice once in a while would be very 

Have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem, 
Your Hon 1 obed fc , hum le serv fc . 

Elipii t Dyer. 

My partner not present when I sign & seal up this 

Indorsed: 1 st Sept r , 1777. Col 3 , feliph* Dyer, de the Armies, Loans, Hir- 
ing in France and Spain, rec d 15 th ves. p Brown. 


Head Quarters, 4 th Septem r , 1777. 

Dear Sir, — I have this instant recieved your Excel- 
lency's letter of the 1 st of this month from Lebanon. 
You may rest satisfied I will not detain the militia one 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book, —Ens. 


moment longer than their personal service is absolutely 
necessary ; that I am in anxious expectation may be 
nuicb sooner dispensed with than perhaps they them- 
selves think. 

General Burgoyne has lately sent a flag to enquire 
after the prisoners in my hands, and requests to have 
liberty to send a surgeon, necessaries, cash, and attend- 
ants to comfort them. These I have granted, but at the 
same time gave him a tickler upon scalping. My answer 
and his letter you will see published by Congress. The 
shameful retreat of the enemy from Fort Stanwix, and 
the honor gained by Col Gansevoort and our troops in 
the defence of that post, must give sincere pleasure to 
every friend of freedom and of America. I entirely ap- 
prove of M r Brown for our go-between, and shall readily 
order him to be paid what your Excel! ency says is my 
share. By the time I see him next, it is not unlikely but 
lie may have some interesting intelligence to carry. 

My respectful compliments to the old Commissary and 
Col° Jack. Such a solecism was hardly ever committed 
in military affairs as changing the commissariate in the 
middle of the campaign. I am 

Your Excellency's most faithful and affectionate, 
hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull^ Esq, Gov r of the State of 
Connecticut!. P M r Morris. W' n Williams. 

Philadel a , Sep r 13 th , 1777. Saturd. Even". 

Hon d Sir, — In my last I hinted my & y e common 
apprehention that Howe did not intend to fight till his 
ships had got into y e Delawar, but the event has shewd 

140 THE TRUMBULL PAPERS. [1 7 77. 

it otherwise. Thursday last was a day of most severe 
conflict, & it has pleased the holy God to suffer it, and 
for that time to our great disadvantage. Between *S & 
o'clock in the morning the enemy at tern ted to force a 
passage over the Brandywine river at Chad's Ford, near 
which onr main body was placed ; they began a heavy 
canonade, which was returnd & brot on a prodigious 
fire, wherein we had great advantage, &c, in an en- 
gagem fc which lasted till about 11. The Gen 1 had advice 
they were moving their main body about 6 or 8 miles 
higher up to another Ford, near to which was Gen. 
Sullivan, &c, who had sent the Gen 1 that advice, on 
which Gen. Stephens, Green, & one more division were 
ordered to the assistance of Sullivan, but y e Gen 1 received 
again intelligence from him that the first advice was a 
mistake,* on which their march was countermanded, 
but unhappily, as y e first advice was true ; & about 5 
o'clo. they forced the passage before Sullivan was able 
to form, tho he attacked them with great bravery, as 
did many others posted there about. A very heavy & 
tremendous fire took place for considerable time ; old 
officers & all I have seen say, bej r ond what they con- 
ceved possible from musquetry. Our men fought with 
great bravery, but were obliged to yield to superior 
numbers, & broke & fled, about 15 min. before Green's 
division came up, who was, however, of great advan- 
tage in covering the retreat; & in the absence of so 
many sent to y e upper Ford the enemy also forced a 
passage at Chad's, k our army retreated as fast as co'd 
well be fc brot off all y e amunition & baggage waggons, 
&c., &c, which were very numerous, but lost 9 pieces of 
cannon, (they are replaced from y e city, tis said). The 
enemy were left masters of y e field, the confusion of y e 

* Great blame is laid to G. Sullivan for not gating better intelligence, & not forming 
his men, &c, tho he fo't with great personal bravery, & I expect he will be suspended, as 
his brigad 1 " De, &c. liorre is already, oue of M r D's officers from France. 


clay was great. Gen 1 Washing* retreated to Chester, ab* 
12 miles below us, k encleavord to collect his army 
there ; as they went k scatterd in such confusion, T trust 
he will never find them all again by many, who are alive. 
The Gen 1 is now got to German Town, 6 m 8 from this 
northward, where his headquarters are, & I take it the 
main of his army. The loss on our side is very much un- 
known even to y e Gen 1 ; some are confident not more than 
400, of killd, wounded & missing, k others as confident it 
is at least 1,000; and every one inclines to think the 
enemy's is much larger, some say at least. 3 to one, but 
doubtful to me. We always think in this way. As our 
army was much dispersed, having many posts k passes 
to defend, not near all were ever engaged, k few or none 
of the militia. Tis said by every one that they behaved 
with great bravery, but were under many disadvan[ta]ges 
of ground, &c., &c, also that they are }'et in good spirits 
k not dismayed. The Gen 1 also has strong faith }~et 
effectually to resist them, both which I believe are true. 
The storys are very many k various, k volumes wod not 
contain them. It is said k believed the enemy have not 
moved from the field, but reports have been that they 
are moved up to y e Sweed's Ford over the Schuylkill, 
about 15 miles, k will come by y e way of Ger 11 Town k also 
that part are gone to Wilmington, &c. I rather think 
the first is true, k that they are much galled, & wait for 
4,000 recruits from Rhode Island, N. York, & parts adja- 
cent, which we learn from Peekskill they had sent for 
before the battle, k are probably hard bye. Congress 
had also sent for 1.500 from that place before y e action. 
4,000 Jersey militia are on y e move k expect them in 2 
or 3 days ; the whole militia of this State are called upon 
& 5,000 to march, but I cant say they turn out with 
spirit, tho some worthy men of y e city affirm they do. 
Tis said 1,500 Maryland militia arc iri their rear com* 
on, have heard nothing from Virgin. ; but hope they are 


moved. The people of y e city seem to be a little stirred, 
& but very little. They are amazingly stupid & seem to 
think no harm will come to them, tho there is little doubt 
but y e murderers are promised y e plunder of y e town. 
Indeed tis hard for me to say whether y e greater part 
will not be well pleased with Howe's success. A flag is 
come to the Gen 1 this day, it is said, with proposals to 
receive our wounded prisoners in their hands k with 
promise that the rest shall be treated as those of war, &c. 
Some are disposed to make light of what has happened, 
& others to aggravate it to y e highest degree. Most cer- 
tainly it is a serious & important affair to have such an 
army, so full of confidence & spirit, so worsted as to find 
it proper to retreat above 30 miles, & make their hist 
stand where such another encounter will certainly be 
fatal as to this city. It is an awful frown of divine Prov- 
idence, but we are not at all humbled under it, a sad 
sign that more dreadful evils await us. We are indeed 
at a most critical & tremendous crisis; a powerful army, 
flushed with victory & animated by y e strongest motives, 
riches & glory before them, no hope of escape from 
shame & death but by conquest, pursuing & at the gates 
of this great city. Yet if we have a few days & y e peo- 
ple turn out k behave as they ought on such an occasion, 
we might have yet great hope, & to be sure I am far 
from despairing, that God will yet save us, yet we have 
reason to tremble. Our amazing sins totally unrepented 
of, to all appearance, is the burden of my perpetual fears 
and apprehentions ; but such language is most exceed- 
ingly ungrateful & unattended to here. What can we 
then expect? but God's mercy [is] infinite & greater 
than our sins ; yet does he usually save a people that 
wont be saved & fiarht against him? vet I must & cant 
but hope, but perhaps tis a false & ill grounded hope : I 
must however entertain, till I know it is so. The next 
news you receive from hence will be of vast importance. 

1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 143 

God grant, in liis infinite mercy, it may be happy. 
Sho'd they sncced, the blow must be terrible, & the 
wound deep, but I hope not incurable.' The effect it 
may have on our credit & currency will not be the 
least dangerous. What will become of us in such a case 
God only knows, Congress are not disposed even to con- 
sider where we shod remove to, if we are not able to 
sta}^ here, & I dont expect they will, till y c last minute. 
We are in the hands of an infinitely wise & good Being, 
who orders all things well. that every soul was join- 
ing with j-ou in ardent supplications, for the reformation 
of this people, & for the deliverance & salvation of this 
land. Have wrote a very imperfect sketch of y e thous d 
things said, &c, in great haste, not knowing of Morriss's 
going till ab* 9 o'clo. With tender remembrance to my 
dear wife & other dear friends, 

I am most affectionately your dutiful son & serv*. 

W. Williams. 

His Excll y Gov Trumbull. 

It is believed 6 or 8 ships of [war,] &c., are got into 
y e Bay. 


Peekskill, Sept r 14 th , 1777. 11 o'clock, P. M. 

Gentlemen, — A large body of the enemy crossed from 
King's Bridge to Fort Lee last Friday with a number of 
field pieces; whether they design to penetrate the Jer- 
sies & co-operate with Gen 1 How or attack this post, is 
uncertain. Gen 1 M c Dougal is sent over after them with 
four regiments. This moment arrived an express from 
CongresS, containing advices that there has been a 
severe action between Gen 1 Washington & G. How, last 
Thirsday, in which the former was obliged to retire with 
the loss of several field peices* k in consccpacnce there- 


off the Congress have ordered fifteen hundred men to be 
immediatly sent from here to reinforce Gen 1 Washing- 
ton, which obliges me, for the common safety, to call 
upon all the officers & soldiers of the Continental troops 
& militia in the State of Connecticut, that have not special 
lisence to be absent, immediatly to repair to this post, 
for the aid & defence thereof! and to defeat & crush our 
cruel & perfidious foes ; & would we, my countrymen ! 
forever lay aside our avarice, oppression & evil works, 
for which the land mourns & the inhabitants thereoff are 
distressed & terrifyed, & unitedly exert our selves like 
freemen resolved on freedom, through the smiles of 
heaven, we should put a speedy end to those unnatural 
disturbers of our peace &, with them, a period to this 
unhappy & bloodj 7 war, which now ravages & desolates 
our country, & threatens its inhabitants k their posterity 
with the most dismal ruin & abject slavery. 

Such casualties are incident to human affairs, the 
natural result of general national depravity, & are avoid- 
able only by reformation & emend ment in the publick 
manners of a people. 

Awake- then to vertue & to great military exertions, & 

we shall put a speedy & happy issue to this mighty 


Israel Putnam. 

P. S. Let those that come of the militia be properly 
officered & equip* with amunition, as far as possible, & be 
drafted with design to tarry till Jan y if needed. 

To the Col 3 & other officers of the army & militia in the State of Con- 

Indorsed by Gov. Trumbull : Gen 1 Putnam to Officers of Army & Militia. 


1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 145 


On public Service, pr. Express. To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull at 
Lebanon, Connccticutt. 

Peekskill, Sept r 15 th , 1777. 

Hox D Sir, — Your favour of the 2 nd ins* I have been 
duly honoured with, & have observed the contents, since 
which Gen 1 Parsons has been here k is returned to White 
Plains, with the remainder of his Brigade, two field peices 
& a howitzer, k are necessary there to protect all that 
part of the country. Last Friday a large body of the 
enemy, four or five thousand, crossed over from King's 
Bridge to Fort Lee, marched to Hackensack k were 
advancing on, — whether they design to penetrate the 
Jersies k make a diversion in favour of Gen 1 How, to 
forrage, or to make an attack on this post, is uncertain. 
I ordered Gen 1 McDougal with four regiments k two 
field peices over the river yesterday morning after 

Yesterday arrived an express from President Hancock 
informing that there had been an action between the two 
armies to the southward, without any particulars. Last 
night, 11 o'clock, arrived an express with the particulars 
in a printed hand bill, one of which I send you. 

The action was severe, continued long, k Gen 1 Wash- 
ington was obliged to retire behind Chester, with the 
loss of seven or eight field peices, as you will see by the 
hand bill. The Congress has ordered fifteen hundred 
men to be immediatly sent to reinforce Gen 1 Washing- 
ton. Gen 1 McDougal, with four regiments, is already 
gone towards Jersey, who will be ordered to join Gen 1 
Washington or to act in concert with him. Gen 1 Parsons 
is below, if I recal him the country will be left open to 
the ravages of the enimy, & at present I have not seven 



hundred men at this post that I can call into the field in 
case of an attack, exclusive of those in the forts, — too 
small a number to hazard so important a post with. I 
am therefore obliged, for the common safety, to request 
three thousand men to be immediatly sent on to this 
post from the State of Connecticut to be ordered untill 
the first of Jan y next, to bring amunition as many as can. 
If Gen 1 How should be successful! in another action, it 
will afford a busey scene for us in this quarter. How 
has left the ships, has sent all his heavy baggage on 
board, is far advanced into the country, & must carry his 
point or be wholly lost. The troops have been in such 
a scattered posture that I have obtained but few of those 
returns you wrote for, although I immediatly caused it 
to be put in Gen 1 Orders. Casualties in war are incident 
to human affairs, the natural result of general national 
depravity, & remediable only by reformation & emend- 
ment in the publick manners of a people. 

I could wish to be informed whether you have any 
ship guns, 18 & 24 pounders, at Salisbury that can be 
spared for this river. I hope we shall be waked up to 
vertue & to mighty exertions in this great contest. 
Should that ever be the case I am certain we should soon 
put a period to these troubles. 

With esteem & great respect, I am your Excellency's 
obedient, humble servant. 

Israel Putnam. 

His Excellency Gov 1- Trumbull. 

After I had seal d this I forgot whether I acquainted 
you in it that I had wrote to B. G. 0. Woolcut & B. G. 
Silliman respecting the militia. 



Lebanon, 10 th Septem', 1777. 

Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 4 th instant, since which my having nothing material 
to inform, and M r Brown having been to the southern 
army, has prevented my writing. 

The confidence you express of success in your depart- 
ment gives me the greatest pleasure, as I think it reason- 
able and just. Affairs in the southern quarter at present 
wear a very favorable aspect. Before this 'tis highly 
probable there must have been a general action, as the 
two armies were this day week encamped opposite each 
other, at one mile and half distance only. The enemy 
having sent round their shipping seem determined to try 
their fortune in the field, at all events to have possession 
of Philadelphia. Their army by the best account are not 
more numerous than 12 or 15,000. Ours about 20,000, 
and additions of militia still making. M r Brown can give 
you more particular accounts. 

A plan is forming for making a descent on Rhode 
Island, to disposses the enemy of that place. Their num- 
bers are about 3,500 including sick. For the expedition 
are designed about 8,000 men, who must be partly troops 
raised for the defence of Rhode Island and this State, but 
principally militia. The example lately set in your quarter 
will, I hope, animate those who may be called to act on 
this occasion with a noble ambition of meriting equal 
honor. Indeed, I think the present the most favorable 
opportunity that lias offered during the war of eradicating 
totally our insolent enemies from every part of the coun- 
try, for while they bestow their whole force and whole 
attention on their grand expedition, New York and Rhode 
Island are left weak, and if we have the spirit to attempt 
them must fall an easy prey. 


By the return of Brown I shall hope for important and 
agreeable intelligence. Meantime 

I am, &c. 

J T L. 

P. S. The late Commissary, the Paymaster, and Jack* 
present their affectionate compliments, and wish you suc- 
cess and glory. 

IJou bIe General Gates. 


On public service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, 
Lebanon, Connecticutt. Israel Putnam. 

Peeks Kill, Sept r 17 th , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — Since my last, I have prety certain intel- 
legence that a late reinforcement is arived at N. York. A 
deserter that was taken at Danbury, belonging to Col. 
Bradly's reg*, who enlisted with the enimy & escaped 
from them at Soubriska's Mills, between Paramus & Hack- 
ensack, confirms this ; he say, twas reported at King's 
bridge that 10,000 recruits had arrived at N. York, from 
where he did not hear, nor do I beleive there are so many; 
also that the detachment of the enimy who crossed over 
to Fort Lee amounts to four or five thousand & are chiefly 
British & Hessian troops. 

Another detachment, consisting of about one thousand, 
landed at the same time at Elizebeth from Staten Island 
& marched through Newark toward Jason ; they plun- 
dered little besides cattle & horses. Gen 1 McDougal was, 
the last we heard from him, within nine miles of the 
enimy. Col. Bur, we hear, night before last had the 
adress to surprise the enimy's piquet, below Tappan, 

* Joseph Trumbull, Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., and the Governor's fourth ami youngest 

son, John Trumbull. — Eds. 

1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 149 

killed 1G, mortally wounded seven, & captured the rest, 
except three. The militia of this State are ordered in. 

Our loss in the action on Brandywine Creek doth nol 
exceed one thousand killed & wounded ; we lost seven 
field peices. The enemy's loss by the best computation 
amounts to near two thousand killed & wounded. Gen 1 
How was busied all Friday & Saturday, taking care of the 
wounded & burying his dead. Gen 1 Washington retired 
this side the Schuylkill, but How not coming after him, 
got reinforced by the city militia, & on the 14 th recrossed 
the Schuylkill, on his way to Chester to make M r How 
another visset, whose advanced guards are posted three 
miles from that place ; his army in good spirits. 

Gen 1 Washington has required one thousand men more 
from here to reenforce his army immediatly, which is not 
in my power to comply with. By letters from the north- 
ward of a late date, Gen 1 Gates is four miles above Sara- 
toga, within eight miles of Burgoin, who appears to be 
making dispositions to fight him. Lincoln & Starks are 
gitting on his rear. 

I have given orders to Gen 1 Parsons to make a diver- 
sion at the Bridge. The militia of the Jersies are coming 
to join Gen 1 McDougal, or to act in conjunction with him 
against the enemy there. Its reported here that the 
enemy have evacuated Newport, but hearing nothing of 
it from the eastward, presume its not so. The letter to 
Gov. Cook incloses an order of Congress for one battalion 
of Continental troops in Rhode Island to be immedeatly 
sent to the southward, & must be forwarded with dispatch. 
I doubt not but that with the assistance that will be af- 
forded us from the militia, through the smiles of heaven 
accompanying our exertions, we shall be able yet to call 
out soon to our fellows & friends with joyfull hearts, All 
is Well. With sincere respect & esteem, I have the honor 
to be your Excellency's obed*, humble servant., 

Israel Putnam. 


Sep 1 ' 1S th. 

This moment rece d advice from G. M c Dongal that he 
suspects the regulars have left the Jersey, for they hastily 
decamp* night before last & have not since been found, 
tho sought with carefulness. 

Indorsed: Peek's Kill, Thursday, 17 Sept., 1777. Maj r General Putnam, 
de reinforcement of the enemy. Brig r Gen 1 McDougall persued the enemy 
in the Jersies. Disappeared on search. Gen 1 Washington's loss at Brandy- 
wine 1 iii killed and wounded. Gen 1 Howe's loss, 2 m. killed & wounded. 
Gen 1 \Yash n retired on this side Schuylkill, reinforced & recrossed. Gen 1 
Howe's advanced guards o miles ou this side Chester. Our army in good 
spirits. Send for 1 in. reinforcem ts . Not in his power. Acc t3 from the 
northward, &c. 


Lebanon, 29 th Septem r , 1777. 

Sir, — Yours of the 17 th by Brown was recieved the 
next Tuesday, together with the accounts of the action 
of Friday. Permit me to congratulate you on that affair ; 
such a beginning augurs well of what is to follow. We 
have accounts since by Bennington that Col Brown has 

succeeded in his enterprize against Ty . I hope this 

will prove true. This moment we have accounts from the 
westward of General Howe's having outgeneral'd us, and 
stole a march for Philadelphia. I don't give you the par- 
ticulars, as I find from General Putnam that he has already 
sent you the news. 'Tis strange that such an army must 
continually retire without once daring to fight an enemy 
who at the same time they affect to consider as their 

Troops are collecting in this, Massachusetts, and Rhode 
Island States for the attack of the enemy at Newport. 

The numbers are for the Massachusetts 3, COO 

Rhode Island 2,500 

Connecticut 1,500. 

in two regiments under command of Colonels Ely & 
M f Clellan ; two very good officers. The first regiment 

1777.] IIOKATIO GATES. 15] 

has been iri service these three months, the other is raised 
for the occasion. Every method is taken to prevent any 
correct intelligence from getting to the island. The 
descent will probably be made the second week of October. 

I have sent Brown to the western army and Congress. 
In his place I wish you to send a Jabez Fitch, one of your 
militia horse. His captain I have forgot, but Maj 1 Hyde 
or Lieut. Abraham Fitch will point him out to you. lie 
is trusty, and there are particular inducements for me to 
ask his discharge. By then Brown will have returned. 

My son your Paymaster will deliver you this, & can give 
you all the stories which fill the country. I am, Sir, 

Most respectfully, your very obedient, hble. servant. 

J___ T- L. 

HoN b!e Maj r General Gates. 


Camp, Behmus's Heights, 5 th Oct r , 1777. 

Dear Sir, — Yesterday I had the honor to receive 
your Excellency's letter by Col Jonathan Trumbull. I 
am happy to hear our beginning has given such general 
satisfaction. My care and constant attention are continu- 
ally at work to make the close of the campaign glorious 
to the army, and ruinous to the common enemy of the 
United States. 

By the information of spies, deserters from the enemy, 
and those of our own troops who have escaped from cap- 
tivity, I am convinced that General Burgoyne expects a 
violent effort will be made by General Clinton to force 
the posts of the Highlands and unbar the door which the 
army under his (Burgoyne's) command have not yet been 
able to break open. I have acquainted Gov r Clinton of 
this State with the in f elli<j:ence I have recieved, and de- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. —Eds. 


sired he would prepare General Putnam for that event. 
I have also wrote in the strongest terms to Congress, to 
direct their attention to the important object. 

The recovery of Rhode Island is doubtless an enterpri/c 
of great moment, but that might be done at leisure; to 
defeat the designs of the enemy in the main plan of their 
operations should at- present engross all our care. 

M r Jabez Fitch presents your Excellency with this let- 
ter. I am pleased with his being appointed to supply the 
place of Brown. I am 

Your Excellency's most affectionate, hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates. 

My affectionate compliments to Colonels Jo. and John. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 


Albany, 6 th October, 1777. 

Hon* Sib. — I yesterday left General Gates at Still 
Water, where all remain quiet at present, nothing mate- 
rial having happened since the action and return of 
Colonel Brown, — the latter having effected the taking 
a number of prisoners from the enemy, and releasing 
some of our prisoners, burning boats, stores, &c, &c, at 

Ty Landing and on Lake George. The enemv's 

principal stores, artillery, &c, not with them in camp, 
are on an island called 5 mile Island, near the bottom of 
Lake George. These Brown scarcely attempted, the 
enemy having discovered him previous to his arrival there. 
lie found by their shots that they were ready for him. 
and exceedingly expert at firing. The action of the 19 th 
holds out equal to what we heard. The enemy are now 
in fortified camp, partly on the ground where the battle 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ei>s. 


was fought. Our camp seems very advantageously situ- 
ated and strong, no fear of an attempt on their lines. 
The enemy seem waiting some event to determine their 
movements. Some troops are expected under Gen 1 S fc 
Ledger to reinforce them, perhaps 1,000. Our numbers 
are now full equal to the General's wishes. The fear is 
that the enemy will be quiet an till the militia grow uneasy 
for return. Prisoners and deserters are coming; in everv 
day. These generally agree that the enemy have not 
more than three weeks' provisions ; some say not more 
than two weeks. Our expectations are now towards the 
southern army and extent; if nothing very untoward in 
our part happens from thence, hopes are very sanguine 
with regard to M r Burgoyne. 

Will Brown come this way on his return from the 
southward ? The General expects a constant rider. I have 
mentioned to General Gates the quantity of salted provi- 
sions and spirits in our parts ; suppose he will write on 
that head. Provisions have been extremely scarce. Some- 
times not more than two or three days on hand. Once 
not one. The prospect on this head grows much better. 
Bread is most wanted. Fresh beef is plenty, but at a 
very great price. . 

I am, Sir, 

Your most dutifull son, 

Jon th Trumbull, Jun b . 

"We seem to know nothing of southern operations in 
this quarter. Their communications to us are very scanty. 
May I beg the indulgence of your intelligence as it turns 
up and you are acquainted. We don't to this day know 
the fate of Philadelphia, or the destination of Congress. 



Danbuky, 7 th Oct/, 1777. 

Sir, — I came this morning from Peekskill io forward 
with all possible expedition such troops as I should find 
coming to our aid from Connecticut!, & am much pleas' 1 
to find my countrymen seem again, tho' at a late hour, in 
a degree rous d from the stupor which had seis d them. I 
think by appearances we shall soon receive a reinforce- 
ment of 2,000 men from this State ; happj T would it have 
been had one fourth of this body arriv d yesterday. I am 
sorry to inform your Excellency, that the enemy made a 
successful attack upon F* Montgomery yesterday. The 
5 th they landed about 1,500 men at King's Ferry on y e 
east side the river, under cover of their ships & arm' 1 
vessells, and the night after reimbark d most of them, 
which with a large additional number, about 2,500 in y e 
whole, were landed on y e west side y e 6 th in y e morning, 
keeping a large reserve on board & a party at King's 
Ferry. About 1 o'clock the eneu^ began the attack on 
y° fort, which lasted without the least cessation imtill 
near | after six in the ev'ning, when the post* was carried 
by storm, after eight or ten unsuccessful attempts in 
which they were repuls d with great loss. The courage 
& bravery display d by the troops (principally militia of 
New York) who defended the fort w T oulcl do honor to best 
discipline! regiments. No terms would be accepted, but 
with a fortitude seldom found, they undauntedly stood 
the shock, determined to defend the post or sell their 

* General Samuel H. Parsons was born in Lyme, Conn., May 14, 1737. Graduated at 
Harvard College in 1756, and was drowned in Pennsylvania or Ohio Nov. 17, ITS'J. After 
graduating he studied law, and rendered important services both in a civil and military 
capacity to hi3 native State. lie served in the army till the close of the War, and was 
afterward the first judge in the Northwestern Territory. During his life he appears to 
have enjoyed in large measure the esteem -nd confidence of his contemporaries; but in 
more recent years grave suspicions of his political integrity have been entertained. See 
Appleton's Cyclepa?dia of American Biography, vol. iy. p. 663; and "A Vindication of 
General Samuel Holden Parsons, against the Charge of Treasonable Correspondence 
during the Revolutionary War," by Hon. George B. Loring. — Evs. 

1777.] SAMUEL II. PARSONS. 155 

lives as dear as possible. The fort was finally taken meerly 
for want of men to man the lines, & not for want of spirit 
in the men. But about 500 men was aforded to man the 
forts & outworks belonging to them, — a number not 
more than sufficient to defend the largest fort. The post 
on y e east side was left in a weak, defenceless state & 
could aford but little aid. Thus was a post of impor- 
tance, & the lives of some & the liberties of more brave 
men made a sacrifice to the careless inattention of our 
countrymen to objects of great & extensive public 

The enemy must have sufferd much, as more than 
three hours of this attack the musquetry was incessant, 
within forty yards & less great part of y e time. Gov- 
ernor Clinton, who commanded, & Col. Lamb and some 
otln r officers escap d after y e enemy had enterd y e fort. 
Gen 1 James Clinton was wounded & is a prisoner. Major 
Humphry, Col. Du Bois, L fc Col. Levingston, & sundry 
other officers are missing*. This event is unfortunate, but 
I hope will not be attended with any very important ill 
consequences. I think a little more patience & public 
virtue (which is now very scarce) will sett all things 
right ao^ain. 

I am, with esteem, 

Y r Excellency's obecP, h le serv*. 

Gov Trumbull. Sam l H. PARSONS. 

Indorsed : Gen 1 Parsons' Letter from Danbury 7 th of Octob r , 1777. 


On Public Service. His Excellency Gov r Trumbull, Hartford or New 
Haven. P r express M r Nath Leivis* 

Fishkill, 9 th Oct r , 1777. 

Sir, — I wrote yesterday from Danbury an account of 
the misfortune which had befallen this post merely for 


want of a timely reinforcement of men sufficient to man 
the lines: on that head 1 can only add that should this 
misfortune have the happy effect to rouse my country- 
men to more vigorous exertions k to the exercise of a 
degree of patience, submission k perseverance necessary 
to accomplish any thing great or save the country from 
inevitable mine, we may consider the event as fortunate 
rather than an evil from which any ill effects will follow. 
Gov r Clinton, his brother Gen 1 James Clinton, Col. Lamb, 
Col. Dubois, Major Humphry k most of the officers & 
great part of the men who were suppos d to be lost have 
got in, many of them badly wounded. The garrison was 
defended with the greatest bravery; no men could do 
more. Our loss cannot yet be assertaind : I hope not 
so considerable as we feard. The army of the enemy 
are now advancing : we have no doubt Albany is their 
object. Should they attack this post from which they 
are now seven miles distant, & the same spirit of inatten- 
tion seise our countrymen, I fear you will hear no better 
news from here. There is, indeed, great reason to fear 
it may be the case, as I myself met not less than forty of 
inhabitants of Connec" on their return home last night; 
they said they came out on a short excursion only, that 
they left their families in bad circumstances, k they saw 
no great danger of any attack from the enemy, k they 
were of opinion they were not wanted. Most of these 
men had not been more than an hour here k some turn d 
back before they got within twenty miles. We shall 
fight the enemy if possible ; we shall do our utmost to 
defend ourselves if attack*. The troops are in good 
spirits; the issue is in the disposal of the Great Ar- 
biter of all events. I think it of absolute necessity that 
all who can possibly bear arms k be spard should imme- 
diately be sent forward to Poukepsy, except those on 
their march for this post who "will join us here. Gen 1 
Clinton who commands the British forces in person must 

1777.] JAMES WILKINSON. 157 

be defeated at Albany, or before he arrives there, or Gen 1 
Gates must be undone ; every exertion is necessary to 
animate & incourage the people in this important crisis. 
That, we are embark* in the cause of truth & justice, in 
the cause of God & mankind, is beyond a doubt; that we 
shall finally succeed I think equally certain. When 
public spirit prevails over private interest, oppression 
and injustice, so scandalously prevalent at this time, is 
restraind, & religion & virtue & a sense of our depend - 
ance on Heaven for all our mercies, & especially deliver- 
ance from imminent dangers, takes place of the vain 
confidence in our own arm & our own strength, — then & 
not till then will our salvation be wrought out ; but I can- 
not say that a profes d beleif of these things & a careless 
neglect of using the means put into our hands for our own 
deliverance is any evidence of the sincerity of our pro- 
fession. As Gen 1 Putnam is exceedingly busy, I have 
wrote by his desire. 

I have the honor to be 

Y r Excellency's obed fc , h 1 serv*. 

Sam l H. Parsons. 

Indorsed : Geu 11 Parsons Lett r , 9 th Octob r , 1777, giving an account of the 
loss of Montgomery. 


D B Sir, — Gen 1 Gates has this moment recieved a copy 
of your letter of the 7 th inst* to the Council of Safety ; 

* James Wilkinson, now best remembered for his connection with Aaron Burr, was 
adjutant-general in Gates's army. lie was born in Maryland in 1757. served with distinc- 
tion in the early part of the War of the Revolution, was afterward involved in the Conway 
cabal, resigned his commission in the army, and removed to Kentucky. In 1791 he was 
reinstated, and subsequently held several important oihces. In 1811 he was courtmartialled 
for complicity with Burr, but was acquitted for lack of evidence. The latter part of his life 
was spent in Mexico, where he died Dec. 28, 1S25. See Appleton's Cyclopedia, vol. vi. 
pp. 511 512. — Eds. 

f O^or^e Clinton, Governor of New York from 1777 to 1795, and Vice-President of the 
United States from 1805 until his death, was* bom in Little Britain, X. Y., July 26, 1739, a:*d 


and being much engaged desired me to tell you, that he 
condoles with } r ou on the loss of so important a pass, but 
congratulates you on the bravery and address of your 
little garrison. To compensate for this disaster, we had 
on the 7 th ins* an action with Gen 1 Burgoyne which re- 
flects the highest lustre on our arms, as we carried his 
encampment and advanced works, took two twelves and 
six six-pounders, brass, with a number of carts, tents and 
a considerable quantity of baggage, made prisoners of 
the commanding officer of artillery of a foreign brigade 
& of the British grenadiers, with his Aid de Camp, Sir 
Francis Clark, the Q. M. Gen 1 of the army, and a number 
of inferior rank, with about 250 non comm d officers & 
privates. The slain both of officers & men is consider- 
able ; among the former is General Frazer. The conse- 
quent hurry has prevented a return ; but I am sensible 
our killed and wounded do not exceed eighty; of the 
former there is barely one subaltern officer ; among the 
latter is the gallant General Arnold, so badly injured as 
to render the amputation of a leg necessary. To aggre- 
vate this misfortune General Lincoln, on the lines, re- 
cieved a chance shot which also fractured a leg in such a 
manner as to deprive us of his important service. Gen- 
eral Burgoyne last night evacuated his post, leaving be- 
hind him upwards of three hundred sick and wounded, 
among whom are six captains, with a quantity of flower. 
He has retired towards Fort Edward, but as General 
Gates had the precaution to throw about 2 ; 000 men in his 
rear, on the east side of the river, it is probable they will 
obstruct his retreat, and give us time to come up with 
him. The militia you demand were yesterday ordered 
down, and the Albany County, with 300 Connecticut 

died in Washington, D. C, April 20, 1S12. At the breaking out of the War of the Revo- 
lution he was for a short time in the military service with the rank of General, and dis- 
tinguished himself by his brave but unsuccessful defence of torts Montgomery and 
Clinton, in October, 1777. See Appk-ton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. i. 
pp. 659, 660. — Eds. 

1777.] OLIVER WOLCOTT. 159 

militia under General Wolcott, will this day, if the 
weather permit, follow them. 

I have the honor to be, D r Sir, 

Your obe t Serv*. 

James Wilkinson. 

Camp Beman's Heights, Oct r 9 th , 1777. 

Gov* Clinton. 

Indorsed by Gov 1 " Trumbull : M* James Wilkinson's Letter of the 9 th of 
Octob r , 1777, dc Gen 1J Burgoyne's Evacuating his Camp. 


Camp, Beaumus Heiphts, 10 th Oct , 1777. 

Sir, — I came to this camp the 30 ultimo, with a little 
more than 300 men. The apparent exigency of our 
affairs in this Department, and the probability of afford- 
ing some usefull succour to this army, were, as I observed 
in my former letter, my inducements to this undertak- 
ing. How fart the step which I have taken has been 
approved of by your Excellency and Council of Safety I 
have not been told ; but as I was directed to afford such 
aid to this army as I tho* proper, it was my opinion and 
the opinion of all gentlemen whom I consulted, that the 
enemy could not be so deeply wounded any where as in 
this quarter; and I am happy to find that the success 
which has attended our military operations in this De- 
partment has justified my opinion. 

After the action of the 19 th the enemy kept close till 
the 7 th , before which time a large force was collected at 
this place. On the 7 th , about 2 o'clock P. M., the enemy 
began to advance upon our left, upon which our army 
were ordered, to their posts, and part of Gen 1 Arnold's 
division sent out to oppose the enemy. About three the 
enemy began to play with their field pieces, and as our 
party was much inferior to that of the enemy our people 


crave irround about sixty rods, when Gen 1 Arnold came 
up with a reinforcement about four, upon which the fire 
of the musquetry became violent and incessant till night, 
when the enemy retired to their lines, the outermost of 
which our people entered and kept possession of that 
night. Within these lines Gen 1 Arnold had his horse 
shot under him, and immediately after unfortunately had 
a musquet ball pass thro his ancle which broke the bone, 
and he has since been carried down to Albany. I cannot 
precisely say what was the loss on either side ; ours was 
undoubtedly inconsiderable. I suppose we had about 20 
killed and 60 wounded. The enemy had about 100 
killed, 193 taken, and 200 or more wounded. I believe 
I shall not reckon too high when I say that the enemy 
were weakened by this action not less than live hundred. 
Among the wounded was Gen 1 Frazer, who is since dead. 
Taken, one of Gen 1 Burgoyne's Aid d[e] Camp, two Majors, 
and some other officers. We had no field officer killed, 
nor but very few officers wounded. We took from the 
enemy two 12, and six G pounders (brass). We had no 
field pieces of our own in the action. We also took from 
them between 3 or 400 tents. It is supposed we had be- 
tween three and four thousand in the action, and it is 
said that the greater part of the enem} T were engaged. 
Col. Cooke's regiment was in this day's action who be- 
haved much to their honour, Col. Latimer's regiment took 
a part in the former action, and both of them have ac- 
quired much reputation. 

It was fully expected that the enemy would retreat 
towards L. George the ni&ht after the action. In conse- 
quence of which nine or ten regiments were sent out very 
early the next morning, who returned towards night ; hav- 
ing gone above the enemy's encampment about four miles, 
as farr as the river, they found that they had not passed. 
This intilligcnce was unexpected, as it had been confi- 
dently asserted by those who had come in that morning 

1777.] OLIVER WOLCOTT. 161 

that the enemy had retreated about 2 o'clock. In this 
perswasion about 500 men were sent out on the morning 
of the 8 th to drive what was supposed onlv a covering 

l l ,/ o 

party out of their camp. Nothing of consequence was 
done that day. The enemy kept a scattered irregular 
fire which was returned, and a few people killed on both 
sides. Gen 1 Lincoln had that day a musquet ball pass 
thro his leg which broke the bone. On this day I fancy 
both partys were much deceived, otherwise the enemy 
would not have failed to destroy the few of us who were 
then out before their lines, which they might have done 
with great facii[it]y, as their whole army was then in 
camp. I suppose they thot the petty appearance which 
we made was only a decoy to draw them out. 

The night following the 8 th the enemy evacuated their 
camp, leaving about 300 wounded, principally British 
troops, which Gen 1 Burgoyne the next morning by 
flagg recommended to the care of Gen 1 Gates. Very 
early on the morning of the ninth large partys were 
sent out of camp to harrass the enemy in their retreat, 
but its proving a very rainy day but little was effected, 
so that the enemy marched yesterday about 4 miles 
without much molestation. 

This morning very large detachments are gone out, 
and the fire of field pieces are heard. The people with 
me are ordered to keep the camp. Gen 1 Fellows is posted 
with about 2,000 militia on the east side the river, near 
Gen 1 Schyler's plantation. This day will probably be 
attended with important events. 

ll'\ — I intended to have closed my letter yesterday, 
but as I was desirous to communicate to your Excel- 
lenc}' as many events as possible at this most interesting 
period, I have stopp d the express till this morning to give 
you the history of yesterday, but which I cannot do with 
particularity; but caia only in general observe that al- 
most the whole of our army went forward yesterday. 



Gen 1 Gates followed about 2 o'clock, P. M. The enemy 
attempted to cross the river near Schyler's plantation, 
but were hindered by Gen 1 Fellows. They then made 
an attempt to go off from the river and flank our people 
on the west side, but were prevented. Our army are on 
their front and flank and on the oppisite side of the 
river. Yesterday, and in the evening especially, the 
enemy appeared to be in • the greatest confusion and 
distress, invironed on every side by our army, their bag- 
gage scattered and a good deal of it destroyed by them- 
selves. A great number of their horses are killed on the 
road, and several hundred barrells of provisions fallen 
into our hands. Our army the last night lay on their 
arms to renew the attack this morning. What will be 
the events of the day God only knows. But in all prob- 
ability it will end in at lest the total loss of all the 
enemy's artillery, stores, and baggage, if not of the 
greater part of their army. I cannot well conceive of 
an army's being bro't into a worse situation than that of 
the enemy's. But the fate of it will be fully known in 
two or three days. May it please a mercifull God to 
grant that the kindest events may take place as it re- 
spects ourselves. It is my belief that the events of the 
campagn in this quarter will open to us the brightest 
schene, and will involve in it consequences which will 
fully establish the American Independency ; and altho 
our affairs put on a disagreable aspect in other parts, 
yet an aurora borealis from this qua[r]ter will dispell the 
dismal gloom. I expect soon to be soon discharged. But 
before that time Ihope I may have the pleasure to con- 
gratulate your Excellency on the full establishment of 
our affairs in this Department, except the recapture of 
Ticoncleroga, &c, which I hope will before long be also 

I am your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant. 

Oliver Wolcott. 

Gov. Trumbull. 


P. S. We took on the 7 th four artillery wagons. 

The enemy in their retreat have burnt Gen 1 Schuyler 
house, barn, mills, and the barracks ; and in their prog- 
ress have burnt the house of every man who has been 
reputed friendly to his country. 


Hartford, 11 th Octo., 1777, 7 o'clk., A. M. 

Dear General, — Yours of the 9 th ins 1 , at Fishkill, came 
to hand this moment. Events that seem to be against 
us are often overruled by the Almighty and Supreme 
Director of them all to be for our benefit. It, however, 
becomes us under such as are adverse to be humble, 
patient, and persevering in duty. May we sett up our 
banners in the name of the Lord, and our eyes wait on 
Him for salvation. The Assembly will be together here 
this morning;. Your letter will be laid before them. May 
Heavenly Wisdom direct their measures. It was judged 
most prudent for the Assembly to adjourn to this place 
before any business was taken up. Wishing you and 
all in comand the divine direction, influence, and protec- 
tion, and the soldiery spirit and resolution to play the 
man for God and for the cities of our God, and that He 
may grant victory, and success, 

With my compliments to Gen 1 Putnam, &c, I am, Sir, 

Your obed fc . 


Albany, 14 th Oct , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I wrote you p r Cap* Treat, going to N. 
Haven ; since that have had no opportunity till this. I 

* Printed from the rough c'raujrht, in Governor Trumbull's handwriting at the foot of 
General Parsons's letter, ante, p. 155, — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

164 TI7E TRUMBULL PAPERS. [177 7. 

have only a moment now, and little to say more than 
that the enemy seem to be in a very secure situation for 
us, being near compleatly surrounded by great numbers, 
apparently sufficient on all sides. From present appear- 
ances we have great reason to expect M r Burgoyne in 
Albany soon, tho' not in the way he has expected. The 
enemy got no farther than Saratoga, where they now lie. 
They have left, burned, and destroyed great quantities 
of stores, provisions, tents, medicines, ammunition, boats, 
shot, lead, &c, &c., and are now probably reduced to 
very scant allowance. General Gates is so secure of pos- 
sessing them that he has little thoughts of attacking them, 
unless provoked to it by being attacked. Deserters and 
prisoners continually coming in. The enemy burned 
Gen 1 Schuyler's house, outhouses and mills, barracks, &c. 
In the action of 7 th Brig r General Frazier was killed. His 
death is esteemed a great loss to M r Burgoyne, being 
accounted an experienced officer and much depended on 
by Burgoyne. Maj r Ackland, the famous speaker in 
Parliament, is now in town, his lady, daughter to Earl 
of Ilchester, is with him. Sir Francis Carr Clark, Bur- 
goyne's aid, is likely to die, — this a gentleman of great 
fortune & interest in England. Maj r Williams of the 
train is in town and some others. Our two wounded 
Generals seem in a fair way. Their activity and ex- 
ertions are much needed at this time. 

Your most affectionate son. 

Jon th Trumbull, Jun\ 


Albany, 15 th Oot°, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I wrote you yesterday p r a chance oppor- 
tunity, giving you an account of our prospects. The 
letter .was gone but few hours when we were informed 

* Printed from the copy ia Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


of General Burgoyne having sent a flag to General Gates, 
begging for the prevention of further effusion of blood 
that General Gates would make some proposal of terms, 
acknowledging the superiority of our numbers and his 
own defenceless situation. General Gates immediately 
made him a reply that he with his whole army must sub- 
mit to be prisoners of war ; that he should have his bag- 
gage ; the public stores to be delivered up, and that 
hostilities should cease till evening (last night) to wait 
his answer. This morning our hearts are gladdened 
with the news that Burgoyne has submitted to the above 
terms, that the whole army is to lay down their arms 
this day ; the particulars of their numbers, stores, &c, 
&c, we are anxiously waiting for. Thus has Providence 
done great things for us, wherefor our hearts are glad. 
May they be truly thankful, and may the people be 
enabled to make suitable improvement of this wonderful 
and very singular event, wherein the good hand of our 
God is most signally displayed. Yesterday 53 Indians 
were taken by our parties at Fort Edward. One of the 
rascals after having surrendered, in attempting the life 
of the person who had taken him, was himself killed ; 
besides a number of Tories and refugees were also taken. 

17'*. I waited impatiently yesterday for the Articles 
of Capitulation but was disappointed. This morning the 
committee of the city have recieved letter from Gen 
Gates in which he says : " General Burgoyne, after a 
variety of delays, has just now agreed to and signed the 
Articles of Capitulation. " General Gates does not men- 
tion the terms ; a variety of reports prevail ; I will give 
none ; hope soon to have the certainty. 

General Sir Harry Clinton is maneuvering in the river 
with his fleet and army. Yesterday in the afternoon he 
was landing or making a feint to land near Kingston. 
His attempts to reheve M r Burgoyne are now too late. 
As soon as he hears the fate of the latter I fancy he will 


take himself down the river, without further molestation. 
He has given great distress to the inhabitants on the 
banks of this river, and may probably burn the town of 
Esopus. It seems Gov r Clinton has not force sufficient 
to meet him. Sir Francis Carr Clark was yesterday in- 
terred in the English Church of this city. Our wounded 
Generals continue to do very well. 

Most dutifully, Sir, 

Your most obedient son. 

Gov Trumbull. J. TRUMBULL, JuN b . 


On jyuhlic service. To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull at Hartford, 
Connecticut. P r Col. Chester. 

Fjshkill, Oct r 15 th , 1777, 9 o'clock, P. M. 

Dear Governor, — I recev d your fav r pr Col. Chester 
& congratulate you on the success of our arms to the 
northward, & could wish they had been equally so in 
every other part. Fort Mountgomery was lost not for 
want of exertions in the garrison, but merely for want of 
men. About forty sail, small & great, passed by here 
today, crowded with troops. A number more I under- 
stand are coming up. Their main force I immagine are 
standing for Albany to releive Gen 1 Burgoine if possible ; 
but I hope before this he is past being helped. Shall 
march tomorrow morning for Albany, with Col. Ch s Webb's 
& Col. Wyllys's reg ts & Gen 1 Silliman's & Ward's brigades, 
excepting about a thousand detached from those brigades 
now with Gen 1 Parsons at Peeks Kill. Gen 1 Silliman's 
brigade contains about 1,500, Gen 1 Ward's about 2,000 
rank & file, exclusive of commission" 1 & non commis d 
officers. Gen 1 Parsons will remain at Peeks Kill with a 
two thousand troops. There are beside a number of 
volunteer companies, amounting perhaps to two or three 
hundred men, part here & part w th Gen 1 Parsons. 

17 77.] ISRAEL PUTNAM, 167 

Letters from Gen 1 Washington of the 8 th say, in conse- 
quence of a concerted plan he marched on Friday night 
last to attack Gen 1 How's army, which lay at 12 or 13 
miles distance. He drove in their piequets about 6 in 
the morning ; the men pursued with great eagerness & 
bravery & surmounted every opposition ; the enemy 
were routed in the greatest confusion. Several miles he 
passed thro' their encampments & took some peices of 
cannon ; in short, to use his Excellency's own words, we 
were flattered with every appearance of a most glorious 
& decisive action when to my great surprise our men 
began to give way & when the line was once broke be- 
came pretty general & could not with our utmost exer- 
tions be prevented, & the only thing left was to draw 
them off in the best order we could, which was effected 
without any very considerable loss, as we bro* of our can- 
non x &c. Gen 1 Nash of the Carolina troops was mortally 
wounded & several others of great bravery but inferior 
note. The accounts from Philadelphia, he says, are that 
200 waggon load of wounded were bro* in there, Gen 1 
Agnew killed, Gen s Erskine & Grant badly wounded, be- 
side several Col s & officers of inferior rank of the enemy. 
This action here convinced our people that when they 
attack they can confuse & rout the flower of the British 
army & that they are not so invincible as many suppose 

I sent an express to Gen 1 Gates last Sunday with orders 
to ride night & day, who is not returned. The enemy 
has demolished all the forts except Fort Clinton & burnt 
our barracks at the Continental Village & many other 
buildings. The troops in general are healthy k appear 
in good spirits. With high esteem & respect, I have the 
hon r to be your Excellency's obed fc , humble servant. 

His Excellency Gov. Trumbull. ISRAEL PUTNAM. 

P. S. There are about three hundred militia light 
horse, part with Gen 1 Parsons & part with me. 



Albany, 19 th Octo r , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — At the request of Major General Gates 1 
enclose you copy of Articles of Convention between Lieu 1 
General Burgoyne and himself. The General is so ex- 
ceedingly busied with a thousand matters that he beers 
me to make this enclosure, and at same time make this 
excuse for his not writing himself. 

We are in great distress for want of money to pay off 
our brave fellows who have so nobly contended. I have 
sent two expresses to Congress, but no money yet comes. 
I am afraid we shall fall short even for the contingencies 
of the army. In this distress the General has ordered me 
to write you, if it be possible in any way to furnish us 
any sum on general account with the States, or on loan 
until we can repay. If any sum can be supplied M r Yan 
Vechten, the bearer of this, who comes on account of the 
D. Commissary General, will take charge of it, and give 
his receipt for its delivery, which will be sufficient secu- 
rity to you. Lieu 1 General Burgoyne, Maf General 
Beidtsels, &c, with their suits are now in this town. 
Their troops are on their march to Boston. 

Maj T General Gates is also arrived, with part of his 
army, & is making the proper dispositions, if not to catch, 
at lest to drive away, the robbing, plundering, burning 
General Clinton from the river. 

I am, hon d Sir, 

Your most dutiful son, 

Jon th Trumbull, Jun b . 

P. S. Are any of our Delegates returned into Con- 
necticut from Congress ? 

Gov 7 Trumbull. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eos. 


To Joseph Trumbull, Usquirc, Windham.. 

Head Quarters, Worcester, 19 th Octo r , 1777. 

Dear Sir, — We are with our main body here about 
21 miles from Philad a . Some circumstances yesterday 
induced us to think the enemy intended a retreat from 
Philad a to their shipping. A large party march this 
morning to observe them, to provoke them to come out 
to us, or to act as the case may require. I hope the sat- 
isfaction of giving you some good account of them before 
many days. Nothing could fit our troops for action like 
the joyfull news from Gates. Our southern brethren 
are eager for an opportunity to play a counterpart; 
thej^ Mould gladly., I believe, dispose of the enemy in a 
different manner. The shipping & forts in the river 
have made a gallant defence, and all our informants 
agree that the army & city despair of opening the navi- 
gation of the river. The officers begin to curse Gallo- 
way & others who had made them believe very different 
things. Remember me to sister, &c. 

Your affectionate brother, 

Jed. Huntington. 

Colonel Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Oct r 19 th , 1777. General Jed. Huntington, de situation & spirit 
of our army near Phil*. 


Albany, 20 th October, 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I wrote you yesterday p r Maj r Van Vech- 
ten. No material occurrence has turned up since. I 
trust, however, our Department will not be wholly barren 
of events thro' the remainder of the season. Time will 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ens. 


discover whether Ty — — and its dependences fall a sacri- 
fice in consequence of our already obtained great suc- 
cesses. Our army is all arrived in town, except such part 
as are left for operations northward and those who are 
escorts for the disarmed Britons and foreigners. 

2,442 of the former and 2,198 of the latter are on their 
way to Boston, exclusive of Canadians, Tories, &c, mak- 
ing in the whole about 6,000 who surrendered on the 
Articles of Convention ; 35 fine pieces of brass cannon 
and 5,000 stand of arms are part of our trophies of vic- 
tor}*. We are now under no apprehensions from the 
robbers below us. A flag from General Gates gone off 
yesterday will probably make them fear in turn. 
Your most dutiful son, 

J. Trumbull, Jun*. 

Gov r Trumbull. 


Whippan, Head Quarters, 16 miles from Philad a . 
21 Octo r , 1777. 

L d Sterling's & M c Dougall's division cross the Schuyl- 
kill this day on a party. The whole army will move 
nearer the enemy today or tomorrow. The enemy have 
collected themselves in the city, k from present appear- 
ances intend to make further attempts upon the cheveaux 
de frise, which I think will prove fruitless. Perhaps they 
will storm the forts. If they do I make no doubt the 
attempt will be very tragick, as the forts are well manned 
with determined troops. 

My near friend Nancy Moore * is in distress, turned out 
from her home by the conqueror. As Jere Wadsworth is 
nearest of my friends I have begged him to send for & 
patronize her for the present If he cannot, I have 
desired him to let } 7 ou know, and as you love me will 

* This is the lady to whom the writer was married in the following spring. — Eds. 


you bring her to your house k consider her as your sister. 
I shall more ardently than ever desire to hear from you 
after she makes one of your family. I suppose Jere will 
be able. I doubt not his willingness to comply with my 
request & for reasons which I can hereafter explain I 
had rather for the present she should be at his house 
than yours. 

I am, dear Sir, most affectionately your brother, 

Jed. Huntington. 


Head Quarters, 16 miles from Philad% 24 th Octo r , 1777. 

Hox D Sir, — Since the date of your esteemed favour 
p Brown, our happiness has been completed as to the 
success of our northern army. Every face brightens, I 
wish every heart expanded with a becoming joy on the 
occasion. I flatter myself this glorious event will cause 
the scale so far to preponderate that the British Minis- 
try will despair of further operations in the field ; in that 
case, as they must have an alternative, they will probably 
recur to a negotiation & try their art & abilities on that 
ground. Here they surpass us in experience and means 
and will undoubtedly enthrall us, unless divine Goodness 
continue the same watchfull care of us that we have hith- 
erto experienced. 

General Howe has been more the savage since his land- 
ing at Elk than ever before. He makes Whigs wherever 
he marches. 

The 22 d the enemy sent a body of troops from 1,500 to 
2,500 (so much accounts disagree) to storm the fort at 
Red Bank, one of the great obstacles to their navigation 
in the river, as they come under it in order to work upon 
the cheveaux de frise. Just before this party landed on 
the Jersey side, a reinforcement from our army and a 
supply of amunition got into the fort. These troops 


were principally Hessians and are fit cattle for a desperate 
attack. The fire was as hot perhaps as was ever known 
on such an occasion. 

The state of the loss of the general officers on the side 
of the enemy, after a variety of different stories, seems to 
stand thus : General Agneau, dead & buried in a field at 
Germantown ; Kniphausen or some other Hessian badly 
wounded ; the officer dangerously wounded, who we 
hoped was S r W m Erskine, is a certain Lord Murray, or 
S r George. 

Our General Woodford who was wounded at Brandy- 
wine is returned to duty and is an officer well esteemed. 

A furious cannonade was heard from the river yester- 
day, and a great explosion. The vague accounts this 
morning are that the Augusta of 64 guns & the Apollo 
frigate were blown up & burnt to the water's edge by our 
fire rafts. 

P. M. I have the pleasure to transmit you some par- 
ticulars of the attack on our important fortress at Red 
Bank. Col. Green of Rhode Island was commandant of 
the fort. Upon the approach of the enemy he concealed 
the most of his men in his outworks & showed the assail- 
ants only about fifty men in the fort. The enemy ad- 
vanced with, great assurance & seeing so few men told 
them to surrender, that they were all prisoners. When 
they were within 15 yards of the fort Col. Green ordered 
his troops to fire, which was done with admirable effect; 
the Hessians were struck with the greatest confusion & 
retreated with the utmost precipitation twelve miles be- 
fore they made any halt. They left about two hundred 
killed & wounded, among whom is their famous Count 
Donop wounded in his thigh. Our loss was inconsider- 
able. The enemy carried up 16 pieces of cannon & brout 
back only 6 ; the others we suppose they have thrown 
into some creek or pond. So great was the consternation 
that they marched 38 miles the day they left the fort. 

1777.] EETURX J. MEIGS. 173 

We take post nearer the enemy this clay or tomorrow. 
Please to remember me to all as is due, from, hon d Sir, 
Your affectionate son & most obed* servant, 

Jed. IIuxtington. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 24 Oct , 1777. Brig r Huntington; de the Red Bank k ship 
affair, &c 3 rec d 14 th Nov r , 1777. 


His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Governor of the State of 


PecksKill, Octo r 25 th , 1777. 

Sir, — The regiment which I now have the honor to 
command I am inform' d receiv'd their uniform cloathino; 
by application to } T our Excellency. The small cloathing 
I hope we shall soon be supply'd with, in consequence of 
the provision making by the towns, but coats & breeches, 
I suppose, must come from some other quarter. The 
coats & breeches which are wanted now exceeding! v in 
the regiment amounts agreeable to a return this day, 
coats 41, breeches 230 pairs; this number have only 
linnen trowsers or overhauls which are nearly worn out. 
I was in hopes to have had a supply from the Cloathier 
General, but the late situation of things has hinder'd 
transportation between us & Philadelphia, & I believe 
cloathino; is not to be had at the southward now. I must 
therefore beg leave to apply to your Excellency for our 
present supply. It is the opinion of those that I have 
conversed with on the subject, that the regiments can- 
not be supplyd with cloathing while our trade is ob- 

* Return Jonathan Meigs was born in Middletown. Conn., Dec. IT, 1734. entered the 
American army on the outbreak of hostilities, and accompanied Arnold in the expedition 
against Quebec, where he was tak n prisoner. After being exchanged lie served at various 
place*, ami in 1738 settled in 01 io. In 1801 he was appointed Indian Agent for the Chero- 
kees, and passed the remainder of his life among them. lie died at the agency in Georgia, 
Jan. 23, 182-J. — See Apple ton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iv. p. CSS. — Ei»s. 


structed, unless each regiment can have an agent to 
procure cloathing ; as the regimental uniforms are dif- 
ferent, the agents would not interfere with each other 
in procuring the principal cloathing. The health of the 
men suffers, & of course the puhlick service, for want of 
a certain place to apply for cloathing in season. I should 
he very unwilling to trouble your Excellency with any 
unnecessary application, but my duty to the men & to 
the publick is my only motive. I have had more than 
one hundred men without shoes intirely, till within a few 
days, & have a considerable number still barefoot, but 
expect the small cloathing on every day. But where 
the coats & breeches will come from I cannot tell, unless 
your Excellency can order them. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

Return Jon a Meigs. 

The regimental coats are blue faced with white. 


Albany, 20 th October, 1777. 

My Lord, — Presuming upon our former friendship 
and acquaintance, I take the liberty to address this letter 
to your Lordship, — General Burgoyne having assured 
me it shall be faithfully delivered. The very important 
event of the campaign so far as it respects General Bur- 
goyne and myself will by the unexagerated voice of truth 
be related to your Lordship, for what less can be said of 
it than that the King's army which left Canada in June 
are all either killed, taken, or surrendered themselves 

* Printed from a copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. Sackville Tufton, 8th E.irl of Thanet, 
born in 1733, is occasionally mentioned in Horace Walpole's Letters, and died April 10, 
1780. He was succeeded in the earldom successively by his three sons. On the death of 
the youngest, unmarried, in 1849, the title became extinct.— Eds. 

1777.] nOHATIO GATES. " 175 

prisoners under the Convention of Saratoga. How this 
compleat victory has been used, with respect to the be- 
haviour of the conquerors to the vanquished, General 
Burgoyne and Lord Petersham will, as they are soldiers 
and men of honor, declare. But to the main design of 
my addressing this letter to your Lordship. Born in 
England I cannot help feeling for the misfortune brought 
upon my country by the wickedness of that administra- 
tion who begun and have continued this most unjust, 
impolitic, cruel, and unnatural war. 

The dismemberment of the empire, the loss of com- 
merce, the loss of power and consequence amongst the 
nations, with the downfall of public credit, are only the 
beginning of those evils that must inevitably be followed 
by a thousand more, unless some lenient hand, some 
great state physician, with the firmness, integrity, and 
ability of a Chatham, joined to the wisdom, virtue, and 
justice of a Campden, aided and supported by such men 
as your Lordship, — men as independent in their fortune, 
as unsullied in their honor, and who have not bowed 
their heads to Baal. Such a man, so supported, may yet 
save the sinking state, by confirming that independency 
which the people of this continent are resolved only to 
part with when they leave the world. Such a man will 
do what all wise statesmen have done before him, he will 
be true to the welfare and interest of his country, and 
by rescinding that which no power on earth can estab- 
lish, he will endeavour to preserve so much of the empire 
in prosperity and honor as the circumstances of the times 
and the maladministration of those who ruled before him 
has left to his government. 

The United States of America are willing to be the 
friends, but will never submit to be the slaves of the par- 
ent country. They are by consanguinity, by commerce, 
by language, and by affection which naturally springs 
from these, more attached to England than any country 


under the sun. Therefore spurn not the blessings which 
yet remain. Instantly withdraw your fleets and armies. 
Cultivate the friendship and commerce of America. Thus, 
and thus only, can England hope to be great and happy. 
Seek that in commercial alliance, seek it e'er it be too 
late, for there alone you must expect to find it. 

These, my Lord, are the undisguised sentiments of a 
man that rejoices not in the blood shed in this fatal con- 
test, — of a man who glories in the name of Englishman, 
and of a man who wishes to see commerce, peace, and 
friendship between Great Britain and America fixed upon 
the firmest foundation. 

Our friend General Lee has suffered a long and severe 
confinement, but the hour is at hand that forces General 
Howe to that which he must forever blush for not having 
done before. The pride not the power of the King's 
generals prevents me from being more particular as to 
the immediate situation of the man }~ou so much regarded. 
I beg your Lordship will present my affectionate conrpli- 
ments to Hall and Sir Charles Davies. 

With the greatest respect, I have the honor to be, my 

Your Lordship's most obedient and very humble servant. 

Horatio Gates. 

Earle Thanet. 


To His Excellency Jn° Trumbull Esq r , Lebanon. 

Tivertown, 0c* o 8 th } 1777 

Hon 15 Sir, — When I wrote last I flatterd myself that 
before this time I should have had something more agree- 

* John Douglas was an active and Influential citizen of Plainfieid, Conn., who served 
as a delegate to the General Assembly, and took a prominent part in town affairs. In May, 
1777, he was appointed Brigauier General of militia, and in that capacity he was employed 
under General Spencer in twe expedition against Rhode Island. See Public Records of 
Connecticut, Oct.. 1776, — Feb., 1778, p. 202; Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the 
Revolution, passim ; Larned's History of Windham County, passim. — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN DOUGLAS. 177 

able to write, but have the mortification to inform that, 
after all the fateague & expence that has been made, the 
expedition is given over without affecting the purpose. 

The troops from the different States were generally 
on the ground before those from Connecticut, and it was 
propigated thro the army that they only waited for Con- 
necticut troops. But that was not the case. Our men 
was on the ground before it was possible to prepare & 
collect the boats from the different parts, and to make 
the destribution & other preparations that were necessary 
for the expedition, and I should not do justice to officers 
or men if I did not say they have so conducted that I 
have the satisfaction to think they are in as good stand- 
ing as any part of the army without exception. 

The necessary preparations were so far compleated and 
the prospect so good that the differant brigades were 
ordered to perade on Thursday, the 16 th ins*, ready for 
embarkation, which they did and appeard in good spirits, 
especially the Connecticut & Rhod Island brigades. But 
on the whole it was found that many preparations were 
still absolutely necessary to be made before it would be 
anywise justifiable to embarke, for which reasons the 
troops were order' d to their quarters that night; the 
night following proved stormy & so continued the next 
day untill too late to collect an army like this, scatterd 
for want of tents or barracks perhaps not less than 16 
or 18 miles distant. 

They were orderd in again Sunday night, the 19 th 
ins*, & peraded on the shoar at their boats below Foglancl 
Ferry ; the boats all properly placed, except a part that 
belonged to Generals Palmer & Lovel who were so late 
in coming round the Point that by the light of the moon 
they were discoverd & fired upon by the enemy & one 
man killd, & many of their boats never came up. And 
what was still unfavourable to our design there was so 
great a southerly wind that it was judged impracticable 



for boats to pass with troops at that time ; it was also 
fair to bring the man of war instantly among us, who 
then lay not more than 2 or 3 miles distant. From the 
movements of that night the enemy cliscoverd where the 
attact was to have been made, and the next Tuesday two 
ships and a tender was sent to block our proceeding in 
that way. It was then judg'd best to attact in a differant 
quarter (viz) between Fogland & Rowland ferry ; the 
weather unfavourable untill Thursday, the 23 rd inst., on 
which the troops were orderd in & with much fateague 
the boats were carried & drawn about 120 rods by land, 
from the head of one creek to another, k moved to the 
place agreed on for embarkation. The night proved w r et 
& so great an appearance of a storm that it was not judg'd 
prudent to proceed; after which many of the militia from 
y e Massachusetts & Rhoad Island States whose times were 
near out began to desert, as twas said, thro fear they 
should be detaind on the Island beyound their limited 
time. The weather still unfavourable no movment was 
made untill Sunday, the 2G th , when all were orderd to 
perade again near the place of embarkation and the num- 
bers to be taken ; & by reason of sickness & desertion 
no more could be collected than 5,3G7, including officers 
& boatmen, and many of them too much disaffected to 
be rely'd on. 

The weather still wet and likely so to continue a coun- 
cil w T as again called, at which the Gen 1 and commanding 
officers of reg ta were present, and calld upon to give 
their sentiments, and were unanimously of the opinion 
that the time is so far spent, the army depreciated, and 
many of them to[o] much disaffected to be rely'd on, under 
the present situation of affairs it was not justifiable to 
make further attempts to push the expedition at this 
time ; and altho I am sensible that Gen 1 Spencer, who 
has appeard anxiously engng'd in the affair, did every 
thing to expedite he was capable of doing, yet it was not 

1777.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 179 

in bis power to have the necessary preparations corn- 
pleated sooner than about the time above mentioned ; 
since which by the appearance of the wind and weather 
on which our success did much depend, the stars in their 
courses have appeard to be against our proceeding; and 
altho I am sensible that the judgment of the vulgar part 
of the world is generally form'd according to the success 
of the enterprise, yet the more candid, whose esteeme I 
ever wish to merit, I trust will at least suspend their 
judgment untill rightly in form'd of the true state of 
affairs, on which I am free to risque my reputation, who 
have the honour to be 

Your Excellency's hum le serv*. 

J. Douglas. 

Indorsed: 28 th Oct., 1777. Brigadier Douglass, de Rhode Island Expe- 
dition, rec d p Maj r Kingsbury. , 


Head Quarters, Fishkill, 31 8t Oct", 1777. 

Dear General, — Before this I make no doubt but 
you'll have had the information of the enemy's evacuat- 
ing Forts Montgomery, Clinton, & Constitution of the 
27 th ins 1 , & proceeding down the river with the utmost 
dispatch, which movement I apprehended was occasioned 
by a request from General How to Gen 1 Sir Harry Clin- 
ton to imediately reinforce him with four thousand troops. 
This movement of the enemy I considered a matter of the 
utmost importance, therefore called together a Councill 
of Warr to fix & determine upon the most effectual 
measures of disposing of the troops sent clown by you, k 

* This letter, the proceedings of the Council of War, and Gates's letter which follows 
are printed from copies, in the ''andwriting of Jonathan Trumbull. Jr., on thr^e sides of a 
sheet of foolscap paper. On the last page are the words "for Gov r Trumbull. '' and the 
indorsement "Copies from & to Maj r Gen 1 Putnam," all in the same hand. These copies 
may be the inclosures referred to in Trumbull's letter of 2>ov. 6, post, p. 180. — Eds. 


those att this post, the proceed g of which you have a copy 
inclosed, k am with much respect, d r General, 
Your assured friend, 

Israel Putnam. 

The Hon ble Major Gen 1 Gates. 

Proceedings of a Council of War. 

Head Quarters, Fishkill, Oct 31 st , 1777. 

At a Council of War convened by order of the Hon 
Major Gen 1 Putnam. 

Information being given to the Council by Gen 1 Put- 
nam that the enemy's fleet had gone down the river to 
N. York • that they had demolished Forts Clinton, Mont- 
gomery in the Highlands & distroyed the barracks & other 
public build gs att Peekskill ; that by deserters & others 
from the enemy, 4,000 men are ordered from N. York to 
reinforce Gen 1 How ; that a considerable reinforcement 
from Gen 1 Gates is near ; together with several other 
articles of intelligence respecting our own & the enemy's 
strength & scituation, — the Gen 1 requested the Coun- 
cil to give their opinion what steps will next be necessary, 
keep 8 in view three particular points, viz fc , the speedy re- 
inforcing Gen 1 Washington in case of need, defending & 
repairing the posts on the Highlands, & as far as in our 
power divert 8 the enemy from reinforce 8 Gen 1 How, like- 
wise to be ready to act offensively if called against the 

The Council were unanimously of opinion that 4,000 
men move down the west side of Hudson's river, & take 
post att or near Haverstraw ; that 1,000 remain in the 
Highlands to cover the country or repair the works as 
the Gen 1 may direct, the remainder to march as soon as 
possible towards Kingsbriclge for the purpose before men- 
tioned, & that Col Morgan's corps of riflemen, which is 
considered as part of the 4,000 to move down on the west 

1777.] HORATIO GATES. 181 

side of Hudson's River, be iraediately io march with all 
expedition to join his Excellency Gen 1 Washington. 

Geo. Clinton 
J. Clinton, B. G. 
W M Winds; B. G. 
W M Malcom, Col 
Sam l Wyllys, Col 
John" Lamb, Col 
Lewis DuBois, Col° 
S. B. Webb, Col 
Dan l Morgan, Col . 



Albany, 2 d Nov r , 1777. 

Dear Sir, — Governor Clinton will present you ray 
letter to him of this date,* which contains my unalterable 
sentiments of the measures that ought to be taken, should 
Sir Harry Clinton attempt to succour or reinforce Sir W m 
Howe. I will not again repeat them here, but only take 
the liberty earnestly to recomend the profoundest secresy 
in whatever you determine to do ; for depend upon it, 
that that consumate artfull woman M rs Robinson, will do 
all in her power to be acquainted with your secrets. 

As to any attack upon N. York, I utterly disapprove 
of it, for while the enemy's ships of war can act in the 
North & East Rivers the taking that citv would be doubt- 
full, &, if taken, could not be held, and be assured that 
all stores of any value to us, is, or will be, afloat before 
any large detachments leave that city, and I see no good 
in tak g an empty town we cannot hold, — of course it is 
not an object to divert the attention of the King's Gen- 
erals from their more important designs. 
I am, dear Sir, &c. 

Copy. H. Gates. 

* There is no copy of the letter referred to in the Trumbull Papers, and it is not printed 
in the Public Papers of George Ciinton. — Eds. 



Horsneck, 2' 1 NoV, J 777. 

Sir, — A set of villains having harbourd at West Ches- 
ter the summer past whose business has been to plunder 
the unarm 4 inhabitants of the country, & by their depre- 
dations had totally ruind many reputable & wealthy fam- 
ilies, I form* a design to secure & break up these banditti, 
& for this purpose detach' 1 about 150 men under the com- 
mand of 1/ Col. Smith of Col. Enos's reg fc , with Captains 
Leaving worth & Ely of Meigs's regiment & Pettibone of 
Enos's, the 29 th ins*, & orderd them to march down be- 
fore my brigade (which was under orders to remove to 
the Plains) that no previous intelligence might be given ; 
the 30 th they ariv d at Wright's Mills, about 18 miles from 
West Chester, & in the ev'ning began their march & 
ariv d at the place a little before daylight; dividing into 
three parts they at the same time surrounded almost 
every house in the place ; made prisoners six of the en- 
emy's light horse, about thirty of the band of horse thieves 
& cow drivers, & six of the militia ; took & brought off 
about forty head of cattle & horses, about forty fire arms 
& sundry other articles of value, burn d three vessells 
loaden with provisions for New York, & return d to this 
place about 1 o'clock yesterday, having in about forty 
hours perform* 1 a march of sixty miles & fmish d in a most 
successful manner the business on which they were sent, 
within about two miles of the enemy's works, without 
any the least loss. To this part of the country this is an 
important & interesting stroke, as it in a great measure 
sets the inhabitants at rest from the ravages of the most 
unprincipled wretches which ever disgrac d a country. The 
Captains & other officers as well as Col Smith, who com- 
manded, have great merit in the execution of this busi- 
ness. Since this a small party of our militia light horse, 

1777.] SAMUEL H. PARSONS. 183 

under the direction of Major P>owne, a volunteer, have 
taken two prisoners within a small distance of the ene- 
mies lines, one belonging to the enemy's light horse, the 
other to Tanning's regiment. The army are moving 
down towards the posts at & near King's Bridge, which 
will effectually cover the frontiers of the State from the 
ravages of the enemy. In this station light horsmen are 
exceedingly wanted ; I have at present only four with 
me, which puts it out of my power so effectually to har- 
rass the enemy & answer other valuable purposes as the 
interest & safety of the country requires. I would there- 
fore beg your Excellency to order me ten or twelve of 
the light horse of the State, which, is the least number 
any person acquainted with this post will think necessary. 
If M r Bushnell's projection for destroying the shipping 
can ever be of any use it can't be improv d at any time to 
greater advantage than the present, nor at any place 
more likely to succeed than at this post. 

Cioathing for the troops is now much wanted, espe- 
cially shoes, stockings, & breeches, and will be very soon 
much more wanted. As this must be an object of great 
attention properly to supply the troops of the State, I 
would propose to your Excellency the appointment of an 
agent for every regiment who shall attend to the supply 
of that only; in this case more attention will be paid to 
the supplies than can be done in the present mode & 
every kind of clothing properly sorted. As the uniforms 
are different they will not interfere, but mutually aid one 
another in their purchases. Our men are almost all bare- 
foot & there's great plenty of leather, but none to be sold 
in this place. One man is posses' 1 of a sufficiency for a regi- 
ment. 1 must beg some directions how I may possess 
myself of it for the benefit of the troops. Flower is also 
much wanted, not from a scarcity of grain, but because 
no man will sell ; in this town there are many thousand 
bushels of wheat, own d by disaffected persons who refuse 

184 1HE TiBUMBWLL PAPERS. [1777. 

to part with a single bushel. If some way is not taken 
to open these stores we must soon suffer ; I am very un- 
willing to take any measures to effect this which will 
savor of military government, especially as the property 
is within the jurisdiction of a State in the full exercise of 
all the powers of government in the old establish' 1 mode 
& the Legislative body now sitting. 

I beg leave again to remind your Excellency of the 
great need there is of filling the vacancies in Meigs's 
reg 1 & that now commanded by L* Col Prentice ; the 
rank of the field officers as settled I some time since 
transmitted to your Excellency, which you have doubt- 
less receiv d . 

Cap 1 Leaving worth, I think, is in rank the first or 
second Captain from the State & an officer of an enter- 
prizing turn, a very good disciplinarian & well calculated 
to discharge the duty of a Major. If such vacancy should 
be made by promotions, I beg leave to recommend him to 
your notice & consideration. 

I am, y r Excellency's 

most obed*, h e serv fc . 

Sam l H. Parsons. 


Albany, 6 th Novem r , 1777. 

Ho:s" D Sir, — I wrote you the 4 th Hist p an uncertain 
conveyance, which I hope has reached. In that I ex- 
pressed my surprize att hearing nothing from Connecti- 
cut since our late happy successes. The General is very 
uneasy least you are offended with him for not writing 
himself & send 5 the Articles of Convention under his own 
hand. Yet he thinks you cannot be displeased, when you 
figure to yourself the weight of business which must then 
have been on his hands, which he thinks you are able to 
conceive from your own experience ; his mind seems agi- 


tated, however, from the frequency of his mentioning the 
matter, & being anxious to hear, he thot my send" k the 
excuse 1 made would have been sufficient. 

The indosures I have from the General's favor for your 
sight. I am sorry I had not an earlier opportunity ; they 
may be new yet. 

Yesterday arrived in town Col Hamilton, Aid to Gen 1 
Washington, & Cap* Gibbs of his Guards, in consequence 
of the good tidings from this quarter. The Gen 1 & army 
below seem exceedingly pleased with our exploits, espe- 
cially as our own work being finished they expect some 
assistance from the northern heroes. Our good old Gen- 
eral had sent off two brigades, which are now (I suppose 
in Jersies), & another is going off in consequence of the 
late request. We have by these gentlemen a confirma- 
tion of the enemy's defeat in a late attack upon Red 
Bank k a subsequent one on Muddy Island, in the latter 
of which a G4 gun ship was by some means blown up, & 
the Appollo, a 32 gun frigate, the same that brot over 
Gen 1 Burgoyne last spring, was run on shore k burned. 
In the first attack the enemy were repulsed with the loss 
of about 400 killed & wounded, & 150 taken, among 
whom Col Donop, the comandant, was wounded k left 
on the field with his Major brigade, &c. 27 guns, 24 lb 8 , 
w r ere saved from the 64, & others, tis expected, will be 

The reinforcements going from N. York to join How 
are gone by water to the Delaware. Hope they will 
meet the same disappointment that Clinton did in his 
expectations of succour to Burgoyne. 

An embassy of Indians from S fc Francois in Canada 
are now in town ; the Oneidas are expected in a day or 

I am requested by the General to ask the disposition 
that lias been made of the old arms which were sent from 
hence last spring, whether repaired, & what are gone 


with them ; also whether you would be desirous to re- 
ceive for repairs a number more, how many & how expe- 
ditiously they may be repaired. Numbers of our lately 
acquired arms are in a broken condition. 

What is gone with the Newport expedition ? We hear 
nothing from it, save that Doct. Gordon writes, the 27 th 
ulto., that he conjectures it has vanished in the air, not 
hav" had any acc° att that date. 

I have had nothing yet from M r Hancock ; money not 
yet arrived, is near by, on the road. 

Our Generals' broken legs continue in a very good 

7 th Novenf. — Money arrived last evening, am verj r busy 
this day, hope to be in Connecticut in all this month. 
Gen 1 Glover's brigade, in addition to the others I men- 
tioned, are under orders for the southern army. I hope 
they will be able to drive M r How when the whole continent 
are collected. Our successes this way I hope will rouse a 
spirit of emulation in the minds of the militia in Southern 

We wonder much what is gone with Newport expe- 

Your most dutifull son. 

Gov r Trumbull. J. TRUMBULL, JuN*. 


On public service. To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull, at Lebanon. 

Hartford, Nov t 7 th , 1777. 

Please your Excellency, — Gen. Putnam requested 
Gen 1 Gates to send him a reinforcement of two or three 

* Jesse Root, a member of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 178-3, and Chief Justice 
of Connecticut from 1796 to 1807, was boru in Coventry, Conn., Dec. 28, 1736, graduated 
at Princeton in 1756, preached for several years and then studied law, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1763. On the breaking out of the war he entered the army and rose to the rank 
of Lieutenant He died in his native town March 29, 1S22. See Appleton's Cyclo- 
paedia of American Biography, vol. v. p. 320; Lan man's Biographical Annals, pp. 36-1,487 5 
Drake's Dictionary of American Biography, p. 781. — Eds. 

1777.] JESSE HOOT. 187 

brigades, if to be spared, & some heavy artillery, & re- 
ceive 11 for answer that his request was granted. I left 
Fishkill last Tuesday morning. Gen 13 Poor & Warner 
were arrived, Larnard & Patterson were on their way 
down, Col Morgan had passed on to Gen 1 Washington. 
Sunday last Col. Hamilton, one of Gen 1 Washington's Aid 
de Camps, came to Gen 1 Putnam's with letters k instruc- 
tions from Gen 1 Washington. He says, Gen 1 How keeps 
open a communication with his fleet which lyes below 
Chester, & Gen 1 Washington is unable to prevent it, with- 
out a considerable reinforcement ; for it would be of no 
consequence to send a light body below, & to detach any 
heavy body of troops would, too much weaken & endan- 
ger the main army. Were he sufficiently reinforced, he 
immagines he could most certainly take Gen 1 How, unless 
he should carry the forts & chevaux de frise, which at 
present there seems to be not much danger off. In con- 
sequence of this Gen 1 Wind, with seven hundred Jersey 
militia, was ordered from N. Windsor, where he was lying, 
to Red Bank. The detachments of Co? Lee's & Jackson's 
regiments, Gen 1 Poor's brigade, Gen 1 Learnard & Patter- 
son's brigades are all to "join Gen 1 Washington. There 
will be left about eighteen hundred Continental troops 
& three thousand militia, exclusive of the N. York 
militia, provided Gen 1 Warner's brigade & the Ham- 
shire militia in Gen 1 Larnard's brigade, whose time is 
out the 1 st of next month are left, as is expected. A 
number of mortars & heavy artillery are come from 
the northward. In this view of things Gen 1 Putnam has 
in contemplation the taking of New York, & which may 
most certainly be done, as they are now weakened by 
sparing the reinforcement to Gen 1 How, in case about 
two or three thousand spirited volunteers from Connecti- 
cut would turn out & join, & that they would I have 
not the least doubt, were they assured the attack would 
be made in earnest ; & that the attack will be made I am 


pretty certain, unless the situation of Gen 1 Washington 
should require the militia now on Hudson's River to go 
southward. This will be determined by the return of 
Col Hamilton from the northward, where he is to hasten 
on the reinforcement proposed, & is expected back to 
Fishkill this day. If Col Ely's reg* could be spared, they 
are allready raised, in case the expedition against N. York 
should go on. My son is just come home who left Fis- 
kill half a day after I did ; he says, a man passed through 
Litchfield yesterday, who told there, that he came direct 
from Gen 1 Washington, crossed the N. River at Peekskill, 
that there had been a gen 1 battle between Gen 1 Washing- 
ton & How, & that Gen 1 How & his army were all made 
prisoners of war in the city of Philadelphia. This is only 
a storey, but so good a one that the trouble of writing it 
is compensated by the pleasure of thinking it may be true 
soon, if not now. 

With grea[te]st respect & esteem I am your 

Excellency's most obed*, humble servant, 

Jesse Root. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Nov. 7 th , 1777. Col Jesse Root, de Army, &c. 


Albant, 8 th Novera r , 1777. 

Sir, — It having been thought expedient to take so 
many regiments from this Department for the reinforce- 
ment of the Southern Army, I do not think there is any 
necessity to have so much artillery and small arms de- 
posited at this arsenal, and therefore have determined to 
send thirty pieces of brass ordnance to Sheffield and three 
thousand stand of arms to Springfield, or such other towns 
in your State as your Excellency shall think proper, where 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ei>s. 


they may be best and most conveniently repaired ; but to 
do this I beg your Excellency will assist me with fifty ox 
teams and two hundred draught horses with drivers. 
They shall be paid so much for the trip out [and ?] home 
as your Excellency shall judge reasonable and they be 
contented with their wages. The persons who have the 
superintendency of teams and horses to be appointed by 
your Excellency. 

Col John Trumbull sends you all the news I know, and 
T constantly give him copies of such papers as I wish your 
Excellency to be acquainted with. Devoutly praying 
that the Great Being who has done all for us may 
continue his divine protection to our glorious cause, I 
rest. Sir, 

Your Excellency's most hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates. 

My affectionate compliments to Colonel Joseph & Col 
Jn° Trumbull 

His Excellency Gov' Trumbull. 


Head Quarters, 10 th Nov 1- , 1777. 

Hox D Sir, — The army remains at White Marsh, and 
with the advantages of the ground would not be unwill- 
ing to receive the enemy; but we are possessed with 
such authentick accounts of their strength as forbid us 
to hazzard a general action on their ground. Whenever 
we are in force sufficient to risque the consequences, we 
shall cut off their communication with their ships at Ches- 
ter, which will immediately lay them under the necessity 
of fighting. We thought to be able for this when we 
could be joined by a part of General Gates army, and 
General Washington had sent his xVid de Camp Colonel 


Hamilton to the northward for that purpose, but it seems 
Congress in their wisdom have made a disposition of those 
troops and subjected Gen. Washington to the inconven- 
ience of a consultation with General Gates and Governor 
Clinton before any alteration can be made. What rein- 
forcements we shall receive is uncertain. I do most 
heartily pity General Washington. It is impossible for 
him to operate with vigour ; he bears his disappointments 
with the greatest equanimity, and is anxious to do the best 
he can in his circumstances. I could give you informa- 
tion that would astonish you. Nothing shall unhinge my 
faith in the wise Disposer of events, that he will in due 
time send us deliverance & by means that shall do him 
most honour & praise. 

Affectionate remembrances to mother & families. I 
remain, with the greatest affection & respect, your obe- 
dient son. 

Jed. Huntington. 

Governor Trumbull^ 

Indorsed : 10 th Nov r , 1777. Brigadier Huntington de Army, Congress 
Orders to G. "Washington, &c, rec d l(i th at noon, p L* Tracy. 


Lebanon, 12 th Novem r , 1777. 

Dear Sir, — I embrace this first opportunity I have 
had to congratulate you on your late glorious success in 
the department of the war committed to your charge, an 
event which reflects the highest honor on you who have 
been made the instrument of Heaven for its accomplish- 
ment, but which is at the same time so signal and unprece- 
dented, that it were impiety not to see and acknowledge 
the hand of that Supreme Being who overrules the coun- 
cils of men, in thus chastising the insolent and giving 
triumph to those who a few days since despaired even 


of their own safety by any human means. May we be 
made truly thankful to the Giver of all Good for so great 
a blessing. 

The broken arms, &c, sent last spring, after being ap- 
praised, have been distributed in different towns, & after 
repairing sold to the militia. This was thought the most 
expeditious and best method to render them useful, as they 
were principally of two [too?] small bores for purposes 
wholly military. The sum at which they were appraised, 
have credited the Continent. I was last niuht honored 
w T ith the receipt of yours of the 7 th . The teams and 
draught horses you ask, will endeavour to forward as soon 
as may be. Horses may be more difficult to procure here 
than in your Dutch country. As many as can be found 
I will send. Shall be glad to have such part of the artil- 
lery as you may think proper sent to this State, as well 
heavy as light, to be kept in order and used by us, if any 
invasion should take place. One half of the arms which 
need most repair it may be proper to send to the arsenal 
at Springfield ; the others which need least may as well 
be done here as at any place. They may be directed to 
my son David at this town. 

I have recieved from my son with you copies of sev- 
eral papers which he had your permission to take. Your 
letter to Earl Thane t I highly approve. I think it would 
be well that more care was taken to furnish our friends 
in Great Britain with intelligence, as well of our affairs 
from time to time, as of the real grounds of our persever- 
ance in the dispute, which is not an early desire of inde- 
pendence, but a fixed determination to preserve that 
liberty which we originally enjoyed. 

Every assistance in my power which you may ask from 
time to time shall be most readily complied with. 

I am, with the highest respect and esteem, &c, &c 

j. T L. 

Maj r Gen 1 Gates. 



Poulet, Noveni. 14 th , 1777. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure to inform you, that the enemy 
have abandoned Tyconderoga, Mount Independence, &c, 
on Saturday last, after demolish' all the fortifications, 
bridges, burn 5 all the houses, & destroy 8 all stores, can- 
non, &c 3 which they could not bring off. Their retreat 
was precipitate indeed, as appears by many circumstances. 

A few days before I was informed by deserters that 
their shipping & a number of boats were loaded for S fc 
Johns, who had orders to return imediately to fetch more 
loadA About that time I ordered Cap' 1 Ebeif Allen with 
60 rangers down to Lake Champlain with orders to take 
two armed vessells by stratagem, & to secure what pro- 
visions, forage, &c, he could. Cap* Allen was joind by 
Cap* Lee at Rutland, and a considerable number of the 
inhabitants & hunters, a few days after, which inlarged 
Cap* Allen's detachment to about 200 men. 

I suppose they had not yet recovered from the sur- 
prize which my letter of Nov r 1 st occasioned them when 
Cap* iUlen's detatch* was discovered on the Lake, a few 

* Samuel Herrick was a conspicuous figure in the military history of Vermont during 
the Revolution. He came to Bennington about 1708, served as a captain in Ethan Allen's 
expedition against Ticonderoga, was afterward made a colonel, and distinguished himself 
greatly at the battle of Bennington. After the war he removed to the State of New York. 
(See Hiland Hall's Early History of Vermont, p. 4G5) Colonel Herrick's letter to the 
President of the Council, the extract from General Powell's letter to Colonel Herrick 
and Colonel Herrick's answer are printed from copies, on a single sheet of paper, in the 
handwriting of Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. In a letter to his father, dated 29 th Xovem., 1T77, 
Le writes: "The inclosures I have thro' fav T of the General. I send them you as matters 
of curiosity. . . . The reply of C<A f > Herrick to Gen 1 Powell is original; it is grand; it is 
Gretn Mountain like. . . . On second tho't I fancy it best to retain the papers I intended 
to have inclosed. I hope to be home in few days. Several of my letters not having been 
acknowledged I fear have miscarried. This gping by uncertain conveyance may share the 
same fate. Shall bring the papers, when I come." — Eds. 

t Thomas Chittenden, first Governor of Vermont, was born in East Guilford, Conn., 
Jan. 6, 173'), and died in WiH&ton, Vt., Aug. 21, 1797. I:: the controversy with New 
York and during the War of the Revolution as President of the Council, and afterward as 
Governor, he showed great energy and ability. See A ppleton's Cyclopaedia of. American 
Biography, vol. i. p- 608; Hiland Hail's Early Ui-tory of Vermont, pp. 408, 459. —Eds. 

1777.] H. WATSON POWELL. 193 

days after, which made them suppose I was serious in 
my hinted projects, & being afraid that their retreat 
would be cut off at the Narrows they immediately began 
their retreats on the 3 d instant, & finished the whole on 
Saturday last. 

Major Wait is gone with 75 men to take possession & 
to secure stores, cattle, horses & boats, if the enemy have 
left any. Cap 1 Allen is now harrassing the enemies rear, 
endeavoring to take some scattering boats. 

The coast is now clear & the season is far advanced & 
nothing to be feared from the enemy in this quarter till 
spring. I would propose to consideration of the Hon 
Council whether it would not be best for the reg 1 to be 
stationed in or about Bennington, &c. 

I have the honor to be, &c, 

Sam ll Herrick. 

President of Council 


Extract of letter from B. Gen 1 Tow ell to Col Herrick or of leer 
comand 3 at Poulet. 

M T Indepexdaxce, Octo 30th. 

Sir, — I was very much surprized three days ago when 
informed that Cap 1 Allen under the sanction of a white 
flagg, without a drum or even a letter from you, had 
presumed to approach this garrison, but imputing it to 
ignorance of the Rules of Warr, I suffered him to return, 
after inform 8 him that no more flaggs would be admitted 
under such trifling pretences ; notwithstand g which Cap 1 
Clark came here yesterday in the same unmilitary man- 
ner & with still more trifling excuse. 

As I am determined not to admit any more flaggs of 
truce unless upon occasions of real consequence & prop- 
erly attended, I send Ensign Crawford of the King's 
Royal Reg 1 of N. York, to inform you of my resolutions 

to look upon all such persons as spies who approach the 



garrison in that very improper manner & to treat them 
accordingly. Ensign Crawford returns with Cap 1 Clark, 
which makes it unnecessary to send a drum with him. 
I am, Sir, your most obedient ,serv\ 

II. Watson Powell, B. G. 

Col Ilerrick's Answer. 

To the Hon 11 B. G. Powell, comand 9 Mount Independance. 

Poulet, Nov 1 st , 1777. 

Sir, — By the time this comes to hand, I hope you 
will have recovered from the surprize with which you 
have been repeatedly affected since my correspondence 
with you. You impute my conduct to ignorance of the 
Rules of Warr. I hope, Sir, I have not been guilty of 
ill manners. 

If you please, Sir, I am ready to conclude this trilling 
correspondence with you, provided you will quit the 
ground Lmediately on which you now pretend to teach 
me military rules. Otherwise I shall endeavour to con- 
vince you at the head of my Green Mountain boys, that 
your dominion is but temporary. 

I am, &c. 

Sam ll Herri ck. 

Copy. Col Comand'. 


Albany, 15 th Novem T , 1777. 

Sir, — As I conjectured, so it has happened. General 
Carleton has ordered Ticonderoga to be evacuated & 
destroyed. The families of some Torv officers in Canada, 
the persons whom the committee of this city thought 
proper to permit tc retire to Canada, and the servants 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


of the wounded British officers in the hospital here who 

were sent to Ty for their masters' baggage, are all 

returned, and report the ruin and desolation of that for- 
tress. I am not displeased this event has taken place, 
since I was ordered to send such a very large detach- 
ment of the army from hence. Had General Carleton 
known that circumstance I do not think he would have 
abandoned Ty. this winter. I am, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates. 


Head Quarters, 18 th November, 1777. 

Hon b Sin, — Since my last letter we have had the 
misfortune to loose Fort Mitrlin. The garrison deserve 
the highest praise for the noble defence they have made ; 
the} 7 did not abandon the place untill the enemies bat- 
teries on Province Island had dismounted all their guns, 
and a large floating battery of 24 twenty four pounders 
came so near as to fire musquetry from her tops upon 
the platforms of the fort. We have lost some gallant 
officers and men, among whom is Capt Brown of Col. 
Durkee's reg\ I think he belongs to Killingsly. The 
enemy have now a passage for small vessells up to the 
city between the cheveaux de frise (which runs across 
the main channel) and Province Island. If the Jersey 
shore can be kept we shall yet command the channel so 
as to prevent their large ships. 

I fear the weather will oblige us to quit the field and 
leave them in the quiet possession of the city. The 
northern troops are poorly enough clad and many of them 
barefooted and almost naked, but the southern are in 
much worse condition and much less able to endure the 
rigour of the season. 

If the enemy can be prevented from laying in their 


magazines before the ice makes in the river they will 
think it unsafe to stay the winter in Philadelphia; at 
present, by the best accounts we have, they live only 
from hand to mouth, and that very indifferently, but as 
they consider the possession of Philadelphia a matter 
their honour is deeply concerned in, they will undoubt- 
edly use every means and spare no exertions to effect 
the purpose. 

What prospects has your Excellency as to another cam- 
paign ? Our army wastes very fast, we can raise no 
recruits for money, because it ceases to be any considera- 
tion. Another campaign, if our currency continues to 
depreciate, will load the continent with an enormous 
debt that must be paid, perhaps when the money will 
have ten times it[s] present value. It seems to be almost 
the universal intention of the inferior officers to leave the 
service this winter, impelled by the necessities of their 
families. As to the soldiers I can do them the justice to 
say, there is a spirit of subjection and contentment among 
them that is w T onderfull, considering the hardships they 
undergo and the little reward they have. But to return 
to the dark side of our affairs, — I see not how Congress 
will clothe their army. The time is near when every 
man expects a new suit ; as yet the stipulation for the 
last year is not made good. Under these views, is it not 
expedient or rather absolutely necessary for the country 
to rise & make one grand effort ? I wish your thoughts 
were communicated to Congress on this subject. 

I am, with the greatest affection and esteem, 

Your most obed fc servant. 

Jed. Huntington. 

Love to mother, son, &c. 

Governor Trumbull. 

P. S. Congress have appointed Colonel Pickering, 
General Mifflin, & Col. Harrison to the new Board of 


War ; the Adjutancy General is thereby vacant. General 
Conway, Col. Fleming, Col. Jn° Trumbull, Col. Lee and 
others are in nomination. I have said as much to the 
General in favour of Col. Trumbull as I thought would 
be of service. I cannot find where his choice will fall. 
We are told that Jere. Wadsworth has, or is to succeed 
Gen 1 Mifflin as Q r M r Gen 1 . His acceptance will give 
great satisfaction to all who know him. 

We are told by a gentleman from Sancta Croix that 
Capt. Weeks of Philadelphia, who fitted out a small fleet 
of privateers in France, has lately taken 53 sail of home- 
ward bound Jamaica-men, and carried them into France ; 
that the British ambassador after remonstrating, without 
receiving any satisfaction, had taken his departure with- 
out leave. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Albany, 18 th Novem r , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I received yours p express dated 12 th inst. 
The naval intelligence gives great pleasure. The copy 
of your letter to Congress, inclosed me, has been shewn 
the General ; it gives him as much satisfaction as his to 
Lord Thanet does you. He thinks they want a rubier 
now & then, & thinks you have touched very close. Your 
gratulations to the good old General have touched the 
tender strings of his heart & excited very pleasing sen- 
sations. I enjoy his joy, & feel myself happy on the 
occasion. This letter came upon the back of dispatches 
from Congress, in which were conveyed, under cover of 
a letter from M r President Lawrens, the thanks of Con- 
gress in their own name & the behalf of the people of the 
thirteen United States to the General in particular & the 
officers & soldiers of the whole army in general, couched 


in very complaisant & full expressions; & to crown all, a 
resolution of Congress ordering a srold medal to be struck 
& presented to Gen 1 Gates by the President. Sundry 
resolutions of Gongress were inclosed, respect 8 the regain 8 
the posts and passes on the North River, also impow 8 the 
General to call on the N. England States for assistance 
sufficient to repossess the forts of Ty & Independance, 
all which was to be coraitted to the General Gates direc- 
tion, &c. In all these matters the wishes of Congress 
are anticipated by the enemy themselves evacuating 
all. Their resolutions also coixiitt to General Gates's 
care & direction the effectual stopping & obstructing 
the passage of the North River by water, as well as 
occupying the proper passes by land, against the next 
spring. This work remains to be done. I am happy 
tis coihitted to so good hands ; the powers are large & 
extensive ; hope the obstruction will be effected upon 
a durable plan. General Putnam removes to the Grand 

The General desires me to mention to you that a cer- 
tain Lieu 1 Singleton, who obtained your pass to come to 
Albany, has his leave to remain in town a few days to 
wait his further pleasure. Att same time Gen 1 Gates 
wishes you to be informed that tis his desire that the 
gentlemen who are prisoners in your State may remain 
close at the places to which they are assigned for their 
residence. He is fearfull that their moving from place 
to place upon every application will be attended with 
mischevous consequences. He has himself already ex- 
perienced so many ungratefull returns to indulgences 
obtained from him that tis his opinion that every officer 
should be confined to his scituation untill some exchange 
can be had, unless some very urgent & pressing circum- 
stances may be thot to intitule any one to some in- 
dulgence. The lenity & goodness which they have 
experienced is attributed to very different causes from 


those which influence to this kind treatment, & they 
rather seem to affect to dispise than thank us for the 
favors they receive. 

Tyconderoga being abandoned, & the boats all with- 
drawn, M. Singleton cannot get a passage cross the Lakes 
if he should be indulged his request. A certain M T 
Money, who is applying for your pass to go to N. York, 
is exchanged, & ought to go to Boston to embark with the 
troops there. If I may be suffered to give my opinion, 
I should think it best to make a refusal once for all, that 
you may not be exposed to so man} 7 applications as will 
certainly be the consequence of indulgence ; k at same 
time may escape many impositions, which some of these 
gentry do not stick att with Americans. A certain Major 
Williams of the British train is gone to Hartford as a 
prisoner, & may be troubling you. Some parts of his 
behaviour before & since his being prisoner, which are 
come to knowlege, particularly forbid any indulgences 
to him, Saving very few British officers, they all ex- 
perience much more kindness than policy or even 
humanity dictate. 

M. Singleton complains his scituation is lonesome & 
retired ; the more secluded from company & public in- 
telligence the better for the country. Their pleasures 
are not so much to be consulted on this occasion as the 
public good ; they have no cause for complaint ; let them 
grumble it out; their scituation is happy; it is Paradise, 
compared with the treatment our poor fellows are obliged 
to submit to. 

Inclosed I send you Col Dyer's last letter to me ; what 
can he mean by the several Boards mak g out distinct 
from Congress? You'll observe the manner of reiovcing 
adopted by Congress on occasion of the Northern success, 
worthy imitation indeed ! After reading you will be 
pleased to send the letter to my M rs Trumbull 

Our weather grows very cold ; the river is this morn 5 


almost filled with ice; several snows have already fell. 
I am told that between this & Connecticut River there 
is very good sleighing. I am, with most dutifull respects, 

Your affectionate son, 

J. Trumbull, Jim*. 

Gov r Trumbull. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Albaky, 1 st Decern 1 , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — By opportunity of a light dragoon I send 
you the papers intended p last conveyance ; hope you 
will receive them safe. Gen 1 Gates begins to ask why 
the teams & horses do not come ; have heard not a word 
since your letters p our express. 

Is it not astonish* that two months have now nearlv 
passed at the southward since any thing has been done ? 
What can be the cause of their lingering inacticity ? they 
have before this had large reinforcements from this army. 
If nothing is done with the whole united Continental 
force, will there not be reason for complaint? I fear 
all is not right. I wish they had the same harmony & 
unanimity as has prevailed in this quarter. 

M r Peirce is not returned from Congress. I have no 
money. The General would be glad to be informed what 
town in your State you would choose for a place for can- 
non. I mentioned this in my last. 

I am your most dutifull son. 

. J.T. 

We are told the Adams's have followed M r H. home. 
Is the Confederation compleated ? A rope of sand can- 
not be strong. 



His Excellency Governor Trumbull^ Lebanon. 

Albany, Decern 1 4 ih , 1777. 

Hon d Sir, — I wrote you last Sabbath p light dragoon, 
inclosing sundry papers ; hope they came safe, as also 
another letter 3 days before p Cap 1 Scott, going to Hart- 
ford. I hear so little from Connecticut, that I am. almost 
weary of writing, especially as I am \ery ignorant whether 
mine ever reach. 

M. Peirce returned from Congress two days since, with 
various letters, the purport of which you will know when 
I can reach Lebanon. His news is rather very disagre- 
able ; inform 5 that Gen 1 Varnum had evacuated Red Bank 
Fort, without wait g the attack of Lord Cornwallis, who 
was on his march for that purpose, & while Gen 1 Green 
was on his way, with his division, to sustain the Fort. 
Reasons — none assigned. The lame vessells in the river 
mostly destroyed ; the gallies & small craft gott up the 
river to Burlington, &c. Since Peirce we have copy of 
letter from Gen 1 Varnum, dated Mount Holly, who says 
Gen 1 Green is near with 4,000, Lord Cornwallis with like 
number, being joined by General Willson with reinforce- 
ments from N. York ; that something material was soon 
expected. He mentions also the abandonment of Red 
Bank, but no reasons. The officer who brings this also 
says that Tuesday the 25 th a smart action happened near 
Head Q ts , which issued in our favor, as had two smaller 
skirmishes since ; that the enemy had not yet got their 
ship g thro the chevaux de frieze, &c. These are the latest 
& most probable accounts we have. Other reports pre- 
vail, which I shall not mention. I fear things are bad 
eno' below, that the enemy will probably have safe & 
good winter quarters in the city, & leave our army to 
shurk for themselves where they can find covering. 


Cap 1 Buckland goes for the horses & teams; the Gen- 
eral thinks strange that nothing is heard from them since 
your letter p the express who went for them. The roads 
are bad, but the General is impatient, lie may be called 
below, to assist w 7 ith his good fortune ; if this should be the 
case & the cannon not off yon may he disappointed seeing 
them in your State. Sat verbum. The Gen 1 has almost 
said I may leave him Monday next. 

Your dutifull son, 

Gov r Tku.mbull. J. Trumbull, Jun b . 


Lebanon, 13 th December, 1777. 

Sir, — I have the honor of your tw T o letters of the 15 th 
November ult° and 4 th December instant. The season 
between carting; and sleighing occasioned a delav of send- 
ing the teams and horses you requested. Have given the 
necessary orders to Captain Buckland to have the same, 
and think Farmington a suitable place for the artillery, 
and all the arms to be brought there. Brigadier Oliver 
Wolcott is directed to furnish the guard of militia. 

Articles of Confederation, resolves relative to Continen- 
tal currences, came to hand yesterday, and in the after- 
noon another express from Congress brought me a number 
of letters for gentlemen at Boston and the enclosed for 
you, to direct the embarkation of the troops surrendered 
by Lieu 1 General Burgoyne to be made at the place stip- 
ulated in the Convention of Saratoga and no other. 

Enclosed is a copy of that sent me by General Spencer, 
viz., M* Pilot's to M r Bur^ovne. 

M r President Laurens mentions no other intelligence in 
his of the 3 d , except that General Howe had billeted his 
soldiers in couples on the housholders of Philadelphia, 
which had occasioned universal discontent and murmurs 
among the citizens. 

1777.] JONATHAN TRUMBULL. , 203 

After writing thus far M r Trumbull, your Paymaster, 
came in ; from him you'll recieve the Articles of Confed- 
eration, resolves on the Continental currency, &c. 

I congratulate you on your appointment to be at the 
head of the Board of War. I hope you will not decline 
the service. I sincerely wish one of your abilities to 
preside at that important Board. I understand it is 
the intention of Congress that you hold your command. 
They are sensible of the necessity of your aid to bring 
the several departments into a good train. Colonel 
Trumbull* is at Boston; know not his mind; wrote 
him that I am not acquainted with any objection to 
prevent his acceptance of the place to which he is 

A letter of the 14 th from Norwich informs that B, Gen- 
eral Parsons was last night at Oyster Pond point on 
Long Island, with about three hundred officers and men, 
in want of aid from N. London to bring them off. One 
of our transports, Col° Webb, Col Ely, and sundry other 
officers on board, is taken by the enemy and carried to 

Maj r Ebenezer Huntington with eighty men escaped, 
and came into New London on the morning of the 14 th 
inst. at day break. Further particulars are not yet come 
to hand. 

I am, with great esteem and regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

j____ t L. 

P. S. The General Assembly of this State stands ad- 
journed to the 8 tb of January next. 

IIon ble Maj T Gen 1 Gates. 

Joseph Trumbull, vfho had gone to Boston to buy clothing for the army. — Eds. 



Ills Excellency Governor Trumhull. P favour Doctor Med calf. 
Head Quarters, Guxph Hills, 14 Dec r , 1777. 

Sir. — We are now on our way to winter quarters, 
where, I cannot well inform you. I am not in the best 
humour about the matter, nor are our councils so well 
united upon the subject ; some will think it of the utmost 
importance that the enemy be closely watched and this 
State protected as far as possible from the excursions of the 
enemy. For ray part I think confining the enemy to the 
city or the saving three or four counties, already strip'd, 
bears no proportion to the health of the troops ; conven- 
ient covering, refreshments and quiet for the winter are 
absolutely necessary to fit the army for another campaign. 
Tis in vain to think of starving the enemy so far as to dis- 
courage their pursuit or prevent any of their operations, 
besides, they will plunder the country in spite of us. 
When we are on this side of Schuylkill they will rob the 
other and the Jersies; they have just been ravaging this 
part of the country and pushed off as w r e came. Some few 
fell into our hands by capture and desertion. They took 
from the inhabitants every thing eatable, beds, pewter, 
&c. ; a weaver just cleverly set up in the world had his 
house & looms burn't. 

We have invalids without number, owing to the con- 
stant fatigues of the army marching by night & day, 
thinly clothed, many without shoes or stockings, indiffer- 
ently provided for, no vegetables. Lately the Connecti- 
cut troops begin to be better of it. Not long since the 
general officers represented to the General, to be laid 
before Congress, the inadequality of the pay & rations of 
the arm}', (their want of clothing had been long before a 
subject of complaint). I hear one of the members got up 


and said, let y m do something to deserve more, first. The 
sentiment is very injurious to the army, and I hope & be- 
lieve it is not a prevailing one among them ; at least, I 
hope it will not dishearten us from exerting our best 
endeavours to keep the army together, and as contented 
as possible. Almost all the inferiour officers seem desir- 
ous of quitting the service, and it is as much as all our 
rhetorick will avail, to persuade them to wait a little 
longer for better times. Some, it is true, we are willing 
to part with ; many we wish to retain will go ; and for 
any thing I see, they will nearly all quit us. 

Willmington and the adjacent towns are talked of for 
quarters ; some are for hutting in the woods, the latter 
we are told would please Congress. We shall not find it 
an easy matter to please, if we make the pleasure of any 
the first object. Congress, I dare say, think us paltroons 
for not engaging M r Howe the other day at White Marsh. 
The Committee of Congress who were there, 1 am told, 
were pleased to say as much. An attack would undoubt- 
edly have been the ruin of this army; General Washing- 
ton is under a strong necessity of hazarding an action for 
the sake of gratifying the opinions of those who ought 
not, and cannot indeed, judge him, that is, they cannot 
know the circumstances, or do not always understand the 
principles, upon which the fate of battles depend. The 
country might in some measure be satisfied for our inac- 
tivity, if it would do to let them into the knowledge of 
our numbers. I wish the General was as strong in the 
field as he is in the newspapers. A little knowledge of 
military history will inform any one that an army in one 
campaign scarsely ever fought two battles so general as 
those of Brandywine and Germantown, They were not 
decisive, it is true, and for good reason beside those 
which have been given to the publick. Gen 1 Washington 
had not more than about 10,000 at Brandywine, (the mili- 
tia I don't count) nor has he more than that number of 

20G TnE 'rnuMBULL papers. [1777. 

effectives after the junction of the Northern reinforce- 
ments (I hardly dare speak the truth). We have XQry 
authentick accounts of Howe's exceeding hi in in num- 
bers, in discipline we know he does. What can our 
worthy General do, unless circumstances should be greatly 
on his side in point of situation, a case the enemy have 
too much knowledge in the art of war, to let happen. 
When they came out of the city, they told what great 
things they intended to do, they took a fine piece of 
ground opposite to us, made a shew of attacking us in 
front, moved to our right, then to our left, and after 
viewing us a few days, and provoking us by their ad- 
vanced parties to come out from our strong ground they 
at midnight returned to the city. Never I believe did an 
army want to fight more than ours on our own or equal 
ground, and the inferior officers & soldiers would cheer- 
fully have gone to their ground had they have been 
ordered, confiding in the wisdom of their superiours. 
The general officers are tired enough of the war to have 
risqued a battle, had there been a distant prospect of suc- 
cess ; but they had other things to bring into considera- 
tion, a rout of this army after the junction of the victorious 
troops from Gen 1 Gates would have filled the enemy with 
the most flattering hopes and proportionably depressed 
the country. 

Our numbers are a shame to the country. I have the 
pleasure, however, to inform you the New England corps 
are the fullest, and Connecticut not behind the other three 
sister States. Ours too, in poor plight as they are, are 
better clothed than the others. Please to remember me 
affectionately to mother, son, &c, &c. I would have 
wrote my other friends if I had time. I give master* a 

* Jabez Huntington, the only child of General Huntington's first wife (Faith Trumbull), 
was horn in Lebanon, Conn.. Sep'. 17, 17G7, spent his early years with his maternal grand- 
father, graduated at Yale College in 1784, and died in Norwich, Conn., Aug. 16, 1848. See 
Huntington Family Memoir, p. 242. — Eds. 

177S.] JAMES DUAXE. 207 

thousand joys. I have your favour p Brown. I seldom 
see him. 

I am, with the greatest esteem and affection y 

Your son, 

Jed. Huntington. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Gulph Hills, 14 Dec r , 1777. Brig r Gen 1 Huntington, de State of 
the Army, rec 4 22 nd ins 1 p Doc r Metcalfe. 


Manour Livingston, 2 d January, 1778. 

Sir, — However fortunate, hitherto, in obtaining for- 
eign supplies of arms and ammunition, bad would be the 
policy not to improve to the utmost extent every mate- 
rial which our own country is capable of affording. This 
State can furnish lead, sulphur, and flints, and Congress 
have warmly pressed our Legislature to establish these 
useful manufactures. The calamities which have pressed 
so hard upon, us during the war, and particularly the last 
year, have hitherto put it out of our power. Invaded 
and distressed in every quarter, it has, as your Excellency 
well knows, been difficult for us, with all the assistance 
sent to our relief, even to defend ourselves ; and in too 
many parts we see our country occupied by our enemies, 
or marked with ruin and desolation. It is not a time, 
however, to sink under misfortunes ; in proportion to our 
past sufferings ought our spirit and vigour to rise, and our 
efforts to prepare against the future attempts of our im- 
placable foes to be redoubled. It is with pleasure I can 
assure your Excellency that this laudable temper animates 
the people in office in this community. 

* James Dunne was born in New York, Feb. ft, 1733, became an eminent lawyer, was a 
member of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1784, and afterward first mayor of New 
York, besides filling many other important offices in civil life. He married a daughter of 
Colonel Robert Livingston, and dk-d in Duanesbur^, X. Y., Feb. 1, 1797. See Anpleton's 
Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. ii. pp. 235, 23G; Lauman's Biographical Annals, 
pp. 12*5, 127. — Eds. 


A Committee appointed to manage a Sulphur Refinery 
have raisd at Schoharie about four tons of ore which 
yields a proportion of one fourth pure sulphur. This, I 
am informed, is equal to the best ore in Germany. The 
supply promises to be inexhaustible, and the ore is so 
easily raised that a single hand has produc'd a ton a 
week. In two other places, one at, and the other near, 
Cherry Yallej 7 , sulphur has also been found, and about 
five tons raised. This is of a superior quality, being 
washed out of springs and mixed with earth and leaves : 
when cleaned about one half the mass is pure sulphur ; 
but here the quantity is not so great. It has therefore 
been concluded to erect the works at Schoharie. I men- 
tion these particulars for your Excellency's information, 
knowing that you take a warm part in every thing which 
can promote the prosperity of the United States. But 
the immediate occasion of this address is to request your 
Excellency's assistance in procuring the necessary imple- 
ments for the Refinery. Every thing else is preparing. 
We had the misfortune to learn on applying to the iron 
master at Ancram that his furnace cou'd not be set in 
motion till June, and that there wou'd, even then, be 
little prospect of getting the implements made for want 
of skilful moulders. I understand that your furnace at 
Salsbury will be in blast in a short time ; and that your 
State furnishes many ingenious moulders; and being 
charged by Congress to have an eye to this manufactory 
which, as an object of general utility, they have greatly 
at heart, I take the liberty to entreat your Excellency 
to give orders for casting the implements at those works 
as soon as possible. The bearer will attend and give any 
direction which may be necessary beyond the pattern. 

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, 
Your Excellency's most 

obedient, humble servant. 

Ja 8 Duane. 

1778.] ISRAKL PUTNAM. 209 

The implements to be east are — 
6 large stoves, 
6 receivers for them, 
12 refining pots ; all of which must have doors or 
Be pleased to present my respectful complim* to Col. 
Williams & Paymaster General Trumbull, if at home. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 2 nd January, 1778. Hon James Duane, Esq., de Sulphur 
Potts, rec d 14 th ins*. 


Head Quarters, Sawpitts, 6 th Jan?, 1778. 

Sir, — I have been fav d with your Excellency's letter 
of the 20 th ult°. The militia which you mention to have 
been orclerd in have veny few arrived ; and I am confi- 
dent, they never will be made to turn out as orderd, 
except on some particular emergency, unless some new 
and spirited regulations are made and put in force. 

The treatment which the enemy have given to the 
unfortunate officers and soldiers of our army who have 
fallen into their hands, makes some step for retaliation 
absolutely necessary. I would therefore beg leave to 
suggest, whether it would not be proper and advisable 
to build a number of barracks, (sufficient to contain the 
prisoners sent to your State) near to Simsbari/ Mines, with 
picquets, &c, round them for a yard, at which place they 
should all be kept, with proper guards, to prevent them 
making their escape. Aud if any of their conduct be 
such as does not entitle them to this lenity, I would im- 
mediately confine them close in the Mines. This severity 
I would particularly exercise towards those vilains who 
have fled from their country's cause and join d the enemy. 
Such a step as this, I think, would procure much better 


210 THE TItUMBULL PAPERS. [17 78. 

treatment to our prisoners, and prevent the insults which 
the inhabitants daily receive from theirs, who have the 
liberty to walk the country at large. 

Another thing, I think worthy the consideration of the 
Gen 1 Assembly. You must be sensible that the reg ts 
rais d in the State of Connecticut (which were never full 
by more than two thousand) are very considerably dim- 
inish' 5 , by the .dismission of the eight months men, and 
what a campaign, in other respects, will necessarily re- 
duce it. I therefore think it of the utmost importance 
that some step be taken, without delay, to replace those 
troops & fill the army against the spring. I shall send 
(from the army under my command) officers from every 
company to different quarters on this business, and most 
sincerely wish the public bodies would give them every 
assistance in their power. 

I fear if some further provision is not made for the 
officers' familys, that the service will be greatly injur d by 
their quitting it. I think I can assert that more than one 
half of the best officers will (and not without reason) 
resign their stations in the army, if something is not done 
for the assistance of their familys. 

Our partys of late have been verry successfull ; on New 
Year's night, Col. Butler bro't off 4 non comm d officers 
and a light horse man from the mannor of Fordham. 
The morning after, L* Althouse (of Emerick's Chassures) 
with 25 men was discoverd, attempting to surprize a 
small guard at Wright's Mills. On the earliest intelli- 
gence Cap 1 Buchanan, with 17 of the water guard, march d 
in pursuit of, and overtook them near Youngs's, attack* 
with spirit, kill d and took every man except one. That 
is, with the assistance of some of the militia who came 
in verry opportunely from Tarry Town ; three of the 
enemy were kill' 1 on the spot, and four wounded. Cap' 
Buchanan early in the skirmish receiv d a ball thro the 
sholder, not mortal, it is hop d . We. had but one man 

1773.] JED1D1AH HUNTINGTON, 211 

more wounded. The enemy had sent off a parly of 30 
under Cap* Barnes to cover the retreat of Alt house and 
his detachment. In the mean time we had the alarm at 
head quarters, & I detach d partys on every road to in- 
tercept any of the enemy that might he out. Col. Butler, 
Major Gre3 T & Cap* Livingsworth, with an advanc d party 
of 28 men on the Tucky Hoe Road, fell in with Cap 1 
Barnes and his Chasseurs. Here the galantry of our 
troops appeard ; for the numbers were just equal. Our 
people attack* them with such impetuosity that they kill d 
one on the spot, wounded a second, and captured the 
remainder of the party without the least accident on our 

I was happy to find that our troops behaved so much 
to their credit on the occation, and turn d out with the 
greatest alacrity and spirit on the first intimation of the 
enemy's being advanc d from their works. For other 
particulars I must refer you to Major Humphrys, who 
will be able to inform you. 

I am, d r Sir, you mo 8 obed 1 serv fc . 

Israel Putnam. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Saw Pitts, 6 th Jan*, 177S. Maj r General Putnam, dc the militia 
ordered neglect going. Retalliation. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. P favour Colonel Swift. 

Camp, Valley Forge, January 9, 1773. 

Sir, — One of our Deputy Comisaries of Prisoners was 
in Philadelphia a few days ago. M r Balfour, an Aide de 
Camp, asked him if the controversy could not be settled. 
Several officers expressed themselves in a stile that im- 
ported their despair of subjugating the country. The 


necessity of bringing a formidable force into the field 
early in the spring glares in every point of view, and I 
am sure has appeared to you and many others. Com- 
paring present things with the past there is but little to 
do ; the outlines of the army are drawn, we have a con- 
siderable body of veteran troops with many experienced 
officers. If we may believe what the conduct of Gen 1 
Howe spoke at White Marsh, he does not despise our 
strength. We want our corps filled ; the artillery and 
light horse should not be neglected ; the light horse 
are the most usefull part of the army. 

I hope the situation of our military affairs will not be 
seen through any false mirrour. They (N. England) must 
not depend too much upon their sister States ; nor con- 
fine themselves to the lines of proportion and equality. 
One grand effort will prevent, perhaps, several cam- 
paigns. How the}' will be rewarded for their great 
exertions I pretend not to say, but that they will be, I 
fully believe, nay, so greatly partial is a kind Provi- 
dence to them, especially to Connecticut, I think they 
owe every thing for the superior and distinguished bless- 
ings they enjoy. I wish you all divine assistance and 
support under your unceasing care and labours for the 
publick liberty & happiness, & remain with unfeigned 
affection & esteem, 

Tour Excellency's most obedient servant. 

Jed. Huntington. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 9 th Jan?, 177S. B. Gen 1 Huntington, de army, enemy despair 
conquering, rec d p Col Swift, 21 st ins 1 . 



Camp, Valley Forge, 13 th January, 1778. 

Dear Sir, — T address you at this time to return my 
hearty thanks, in behalf of the soldiers, for the late sup- 
plies of clothing which they have received from the State, 
in particular for the generous donation from the Parish 
of Crank in Lebanon and from the town of Preston. I 
am told that the same benevolent spirit pervades almost 
every family, and that like collections are making in all 
the towns and parishes. Surely it is a token that God 
is preparing the hearts of the people for some signal 

I have the pleasure to inform you that the army are 
in cumfortable quarters of their own making ; that those 
from Connecticut are well clothed, and mostlv in the 
manufactures of their own country. Blankets are the 
only article wanted at present. They enjoy a good 
degree of health ; every hardship and distress they 
have encountered and endured without murmurs or 

It is hard to deny the soldiers the priviledge of see- 
ing their families as they expected at this season. The 
service seems to forbid the indulgence, and they acquiesce. 
I trust their needy families will not be forgot by the vir- 
tuous and good people at home. The clothing prepared 
for the troops by the State, towns, or individuals (ex- 
cept blankets) had best lye in reserve till the campaign 
opens, which I hope will be early and with vigour. The 
officers are destitute of clothing and should be assisted 
some way or other. 

I remain, with the greatest respect & affection, 

Your Excellency's most obed* servant. 

Jed. Huntington. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 



To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

Lyme, Jan? 2G- h , 1778. 

Hon d Sir. — The attention jour Excellency pays to 
the public affairs of government in the session of Assem- 
bly left me no opportunity to mention some things re- 
specting the army, & also my own private concerns, when 
I was at Hartford, which I intended to have spoken to 
von about. 

In clothing the troops the durableness of their cloths 
ought to be attended to, as well as their decency, espe- 
cially in the present circumstances of the country. I 
have observ d without lining the coat soon gives way & 
is lost before tis half worn ; lining would add much to 
the strength of the garment, & would more than pay the 
expence of the lining. Flannel or almost any thing 
either woolen or linnen will answer the purpose. In the 
summer their frocks will be suff fc without usino; the coat; 
I would therefore request your Excellency to order the 
coats to be lin d . 

A small quantity of leather & shoe thread to mend 
their shoes will be a great saving, if it can be provided 
for each reg*; workmen can be had from the soldiery. 

I intended to have spoken more fully to your Excel- 
lency concerning the monies seis d by me & cleliverd to 
the care of the Governor & Council by M r Fanning. As 
I suppose myself interested in the disposition of those 
monies, I make no doubt your Excellency will let me 
have notice before any decision be made on the matter. 
I suppose my claim to be such as will intitle me to part, 
if not the whole, of the nion'es by any judges, & there- 
fore whenever the question is decided I shall undoubt- 
edly be noticed, unlejs your Excellency & the Council 
should think my right to the whole so clear as not to 

1778.] H0KAT10 GATES. 210 

admit a doubt, & so decree it to me as a matter of 

I am, with esteem, 

Y r Excel! 5 '' 8 obed 1 , humble serv*. 

Sam l H. Paksons. 

Gov 1 . Trumbull, 

P. S. I would thank y r Excellency for an order to 
retain a sufficiency of y e fine blue broadcloth for a coat 
for my use. 

Y rs ut supra. S. H. P. 

Indorsed: Lyme, 26 th Jan?, 1778. B. Gen 1 Parsons, de cloathing. The 
money from Fanning, rec d 3 d Feb*, 1778. 



W 7 ar Office, Feb>' 10 th , 1773. 

Sir, — Enclosed you have a copy of a resolve of Con- 
gress directing the Board to enquire into the causes of 
the deficiences in the department of the purchasing com- 
missaries, the present state of which is really alarming. 
In order to enable us to comply with the directions of 
Congress it is necessary to get all the evidence the sub- 
ject will admit of, as well for present satisfaction as future 
government. I am therefore to sollicit your immediate 
enquiry into the situation of the purchasing department 
in your State, and that you will be pleased to give such 
information, both as to men and measures as you shall 
think the necessity of the case demands; and if any 
abuses have arisen from the men employed, either prin- 
cipally or subordinately, measures may be taken for their 
removal ; and if any want of regulation, or public or 
private obstructions have been the occasion of the lan- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


guor in the department, as far as has fallen under jour 
notice, the proper representations may be made to Con- 
gress, who are ever ready to remedy when properly in- 
formed of the evil. The Board would also be happy to 
recieve your opinion as to what supplies may at this time, 
or in the course of the next campaign, be drawn from 
your State, specifying the species and probable quantities 
of the respective articles. 

The Board have taken the liberty to address this letter 
to you as they have done to the governments of the other 
States, not with a view to any particular person or meas- 
ure, nor with a desire to draw more provisions or sup- 
plies from any State that [than?] it is prudent for them 
to part with, but as they have been placed in a great De- 
partment, and do not yet know where the enemy's opera- 
tions the next campaign may point, it is necessary for 
the Board to know what abuses prevail, what regulations 
should be made in the provision business, and what re- 
sources each State can furnish in case of any emergency, 
or movement of the enemy, keeping always in view the 
supply of the army, whether it preserves its present posi- 
tion, or shall move as the theatre of war may change. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

Horatio Gates, President. 

Jonathan Teumbull, Esq , Governor of the State of Connecticut. 

I beg leave to acquaint you that the late Board of War 
by their Circular Letters of the 16 th June & the 25 th 
NovenV* last requested your Excellency would be pleased 
to transmit a list of all officers appointed by your State 
in the Continental Battalions, which, as they have not 
yet recieved, they request mny be sent, as the Board are 
about recording all officers appointed by the respective 

1778.] WILLIAM WHITING. 217 


Salisbury, 19 t!l February, 1778. 

Sir, — -A fatal accident has baffled our best endeavours 
and last efforts for casting mortars at this season of the 
year. Yesterday it was discovered that the water had 
forced its way through the dam at the end opposite the 
wheel flume, which it is supposed was occasioned by the 
frost heaving the ground. I set a number of hands im- 
mediately to repair it, and before night it appeared to 
be well secured ; but between midnight and day the 
water got such a course through that a large space of 
earth fell in, so that it was not possible for us to pre- 
vent the pond's being drained too much to afford water 
sufficient to keep the furnace wheel going. I have 
now men at work to repair the breach if possible, so as 
to supply the wheel with water until the hearth can be 
clear'd of iron by the blast, which will save much labour 
in shoveling off ; but I am fearful that no repairs made 
in the winter will afford a good security for the water, 
so as to make it appear prudent for us to blow again, 
if it shou'd be practicable for us to get a supply of 

M r Henshaw set off for Hartford yesterday morning, 
to borrow of Cap* Forbes (who is now there) a quantity 
of coal which he has at Canaan, and as I expect M r Hen- 
shaw will give your Excellency an account of the pros- 
pects we have of getting wood and pasturing for teams 

* At the session of the General Assembly of Connecticut in December, 1776, Colonel 
Joshua Porter and Messrs. Benjamin Henshaw and William Whiting, or any two of them, 
were appointed "with full power and authority effectually to prosecute the casting of can- 
non, &c, at said foundery [at Salisbury] for the use of this State, and also to purchase 
such quantities of rum, salt, &c. as they shall judge profitable to enable them in the best 
manner to execute said purport, the profits of the sale thereof to be appropriated to the use 
of this State." (See Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 177G-Feb., 1778, p. 131.) In 
pubsequent resolves they are designated as " overseers." — Eds. 


next blast, I shall therefore omit writing the particulars, 
as the gentleman who takes this is in great haste to go 
on his journey. 

I am, most respectfully, 

Your Excellency's obedient, humble servant. 

William Whiting. 

His Excellency Governor Thumb ull. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. Maj. Hyde. 

Lebanon, 2i th Feb 1 ?, 1778. 

Hon d Sir. — Have heard nothing from you since your 
leav ? Lebanon ; hope you suffer no inconvenience from 
attend 5 the Assembly. 

Col° Jos. Trumbull continues mend g in a remarkable 
manner, suffered an accident last week, which will prove 
no otherwise bad, I hope, than as it will be very trouble- 
some, by rubbing his lame leg & arm with a tincture of 
cantharides, rather too strong, has excited blisters on 
both from one end to the other. 

My mother has been exceeding lame, occasioned I sup- 
pose by cold, could scarcely move yesterday ; is some- 
what better. 

Have nothing new, but various reports. If you have 
any thing to comunicate, k time will permit, should be 
very much obliged for a line. Any opportunity to Con- 
gress or Albany ? With dutifull respect, I am 

Your affectionate son. 

Jox A Trumbull, Ju r . 

P. S. The Warren, Continental frigate, has passed 
Lord Howe's fleet, & escaped into safe port. 

1778.] JOSEPH WEBB. 219 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull, at Hartford. i ? the Sheriff. 

May it Please your Excellency, — I have been 
confine! these several days or I short' d have waited on 
your Excellency to know when you shou'd choose to go 
home, as I look upon myself under particular obligation 
to see you well at Lebanon. Our particular friend Jere 
Wadsworth told me to make my self quite easy about the 
matter, for he had business, plenty of horses k wou'd 
choose to see you home. 

My horses & chariots, or sleigh, are at your service 
without the least ceremony, or inconvenience to me in 
the world, and 1 sincerely wish you to do as it may best 

suit yourself. I am anxious about the affair of Judd & 


Flyn. I promised you wou'd send your orders to New- 
port, which I hope you have done ; if not it ought not to 
be ommitted any longer. f I feel a little chagrin d about 
the two young lads of My Winthrop.rj: I have ask't a 
great number of the first people who say they cannot see 
it incousistant, but a p s of civility that may be justly due 
each side & scarcely ever lost. Col. Sherriff was vastly 

* Joseph Webb, of Wethersfield, was, when this letter was written, probably about 
twenty-nine years old, and is described as " an enterprising merchant and trader to the West 
Indies." He married Abigail, a sister of Colonel John Chester, and was a brother of 
the better known General Samuel B. Webb, of the army of the Revolution. His mother 
married for her second husband Silas Deane, and died in 1767. See Memorial History of 
Hartford County, vol. ii. p. 478. — Eds. 

f The reference is, perhaps, to an order passed by the Council of Safety Oct. 13, 1777, 
— " Voted, that Mr. David Trumbull settle the accounts and expence of bringing into this 
State Capt. Wm. Judd of [the] Antelope, Capt. Flin of the Weymouth, with the rest of the 
prisoners taken in the Weymouth by Capt. Seth Hardin in the ship Oliver CronuceU, and 
pay said expence; and that said Trumbull shall be rcimburs'd the sum he shall so pay out 
of the publick treasury of this State." See Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 1776- 
Feb., 1778, p. 450. — Eds. 

| At a meeting of the Council of SaHy, March 20, 1778, the Governor gave a permit, 
" with approbation of those present, to Mrs. Winthrop on her petition for her two sons, 
Benjamin and Robert, to go New York to the care of their uncle Major Sheriff, who 
offers to take and send them tu London for their education, under such care or convoy as 
the selectmen of X. London shall approve, ecc." See Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 
1776 - Feb., 1778, p. 572. — Ebb. 


civil in obtaining my permitt for M rs Dearie's son to go 
first into York, then in obtaining a pass for him to Eng- 
land, France, &c. Long after all this was compleated, 
lie was chatting with me about his sister, was anxious 
about her maintaining & taking care of so large a 
familv k started the scliecm of educating at his own 
expence the two lads; ask't me to obtain your leave, 
which civility he won'd much more return if ever in 
his power. I wish, Sir, you may think as I do about 
the affair, & aid the good lady who will readily acknowl- 
edge the obligation. 

I am your Excellency most ob\ h. ser*. 

Joseph Webb. 

Wethersfielp, o a March. 1778. 

Indorsed: 3 d March, 1778. M r Jos. W r ebb, de Judd & Flinn, M rs Win- 
throp's sons. 


Poughkeepsie, G th March, 1778. 

Sir, — I enclose you copies of certain Resolves of Con- 
gress, relative to the defence of Hudson's River ; by 
several letters from them on that subject they appear 
to consider it as an object of the last importance. Could 
I believe that your Excellency would not see it in the 
same light, I should endeavour to point out the advan- 
tages that the enemy might draw from the possession of 
this State, which would follow the possession of the river, 
and the ruinous effects with which it would be attended 
to America in general, but more particularly to your 
State. I must therefore request, your Excellency to raise 
in your State what you shall conceive your quota of three 
thousand men, which are absolutely necessary for the 
security of the passes of the river in case of an early 
attempt of the enemy to gain the possession of them. 
We for our part will raise 700 men, which I am satisfied 

1778.] GEORGE CLINTON. 221 

you will think our full proportion of that number, con- 
sidering our exhausted & mutilated state. And much 
beyond the proportion that Congress have assigned us 
upon other occasions. 

I do not, Sir, pretend to settle your quota agreable 
to the Resolves enclosed, because I am satisfied that you 
will readily make every exertion in your power on this 
important occasion relying upon which I refer it to your 
discretion to raise as many men for eight months, to be 
counted from the time of their arrival at the post on the 
river, as you possibly can ; and as I have not called for 
any particular number & only intimated that at least 
3,000, exclusive of what Continental troops we may col- 
lect, will be necessary, I flatter myself that the number 
you may think it prudent to raise will be at the post by 
the middle of April at farthest. 

I would beg leave to suggest to your Excellency the 
propriety of having a part of your westermost militia 
equiped & ready to march at the first notice under the 
command of your best officers. No measures necessary 
for the security of these important posts will, I hope, be 
neglected by either of the States interested in their 
preservation. Your Excellency will be pleased to advise 
the State of Massachusets of the number of men your 
State proposes to raise, that they may govern themselves 
accordingly, & I will be much oblidged to you for the 
like information by the earliest opportunity. If among 
the number to be raised in your State there might be a 
company or two of (armed) artificers, especially carpen- 
ters, they would be of singular use. I have the honor, 
to be with the highest esteem, 

Your most obed fc serv*. 

Geo. Clinton. 

His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r . ] 



Triplicate. New York, 17 th April, 1778. 

Sir, — Having been honored with the King's com- 
mands to circulate the enclosures to the people at large, 
I take the liberty to offer them to you for your candid 
consideration, and to recommend that through your 
means the inhabitants within your Province may be 
acquainted with the same, as also the other Provinces 
to the eastward. 

I am ; Sir, your obedient servant, 

W M Tryon. 

Governor Tkumbull. 

Draught of a Bill for declaring the Intentions of the Parliament of 
Great-Britain, concerning the Exercise of the Bight of imposing Taxes 
within his Majesty's Colonies, Provinces, and Plantations in North 

Whereas the exercise of the right of taxation bv the 
Parliament of Great-Britain for the purpose of raising a 
revenue in his Majesty's Colonies, Provinces and Planta- 
tions in North America has been found by experience to 
occasion great uneasinesses and disorders, and has by sun- 
dry misrepresentations been made the means of mislead- 
ing manj' of his Majesty's faithful subjects, wiio yet 

* William Tryon was born in England in 1725, and at an early age entered the army 
as a captain. In 1761 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of North Carolina, and in 
the following year he succeeded to the office of Governor. In 1771 he was made Governor 
of New York. Not long after the commencement of hostilities he took command of a body 
of American Loyalists; and early in 1778 he resigned the Governorship for a commission 
in the British regular army. In the following year he made his predatory expedition into 
Connecticut. In 178<> he went to England, and two years later was raised to the rank 
of Lieutenant-General . He died in London, Dec. 27, 3788. See Dictionary of National 
Biography, vol. lvii. pp. 276, 277. — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. This letter with its enclosures 
and Governor Trumbull's answer (post, p. 228) were printed in the Boston Gazette of May 
4, 1778, as having come to hand on Monday last, April 27. In their passage through Parlia- 
ment the bills based on these draughts were considerably modified. Governor Trumbull's 
copies of the two bills (18 George III. cap-, xii., xiii.) in the form in which they were 
enacted are in the Library of the Historical Society. — Eds. 

1778.] WILLIAM TKYGN. 223 

acknowledge the justice of contributing to the common 
defence of the Empire, provided such contributions should 
be raised under the authority of the Geueral Court or 
General Assembly of each respective Colony, Province, 
or Plantation ; and whereas in order as well to remove the 
said uneasinesses and to quiet the minds of his Majesty's 
subjects who may be disposed to return to their allegiance, 
and to restore the peace and welfare of all his Majesty's 
dominions, it is expedient to declare that the King and 
Parliament of Great-Britain will not impose any duty, 
tax or assessment for the purpose of raising a revenue 
within any of the said Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations. 
May it please }~our Majesty that it may be declared 
and enacted, &c. That from and after the passing of this 
act the Parliament of Great-Britain will not impose any 
duty, tax, or assessment whatsoever, payable within any 
of his Majesty's Colonies, Provinces, and Plantations in 
North America, except only such duties as it may be ex- 
pedient to impose for the regulation of commerce ; the 
net produce of such duties to be always paid and applied 
to and for the use of the Colony, Province, or Plantation 
in which the same shall be respectively levied in such 
manner as other duties collected by the authority of the 
respective General Courts or General Assemblies of such 
Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations are ordinarily paid and 

Draft of a Bill to enable his Majesty to appoint Commissioners with 
sufficient Powers to treat, consult, and agree vpon the means of quieting 
the Disorders now subsisting in certain of the Colonics, Plantations, and 
Provinces of North America. 

For the quieting and extinguishing of divers jealousies 
and misapprehensions of dangers to their liberties and 
legal rights which have misled many of his Majesty's 
subjects in the Colonies, Provinces, and Plantations of 


New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Khode Island, Con- 
necticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, The three 
Lower Counties of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and for a fuller 
manifestation of the just and gracious purposes of his 
Majesty and his Parliament, to maintain and secure all 
his subjects in the clear and perfect enjoyment of such 
liberties and rights, Be it enacted, &c, That [blank'] per- 
sons to be appointed by his Majesty, under the Great 
Seal of Great-Britain, or any of them shall, by force of 
this Act, have full power, commission, and authority to 
treat, consult and agree with such body or bodies political 
and corporate, or with such Assembly or Assemblies of 
men, or with such person or persons, as in their wisdom 
and discretion, they shall think meet of, and concerning 
any grievances existing, or supposed to exist, in the gov- 
ernment of any of the said Colonies, Provinces, or Plan- 
tations respectively, or in the laws and statutes of the 
Realm respecting the same, and of or concerning any aid 
or contribution to be furnished by all or any of the Col- 
onies, Provinces, or Plantations respectively for the com- 
mon defence of this Realm and the dominions thereunto 
belonging ; and of and concerning such other regula- 
tions, provisions, matters, and things as upon mature 
deliberation of the said Commissioners or any [blank] 
of them, shall be thought necessary or convenient for 
the honor of his Majesty and the common good of all 
his subjects. 

Provided also, and be it further enacted and declared, 
That no regulation, provision, matter, or thing so pro- 
posed, treated, consulted, or agreed, shall have any other 
force or effect, or be carried further into execution than 
is hereinafter mentioned and provided, until! the same 
shall have been approved by Parliament. 

Provided also, and be it further enacted by the author- 
ity aforesaid. That in order to facilitate the good purposes 

1778.] WILLIAM TRYOX. 225 

of this Act, it shall and may bo lawful for the said Com- 
missioners or any [blank] of them from time to time, as 
they shall judge it convenient, to order and proclaim a 
cessation of hostilities on the part of his Majesty's troops 
in any of the said Colonies, or Plantations, or any part 
thereof, for any time and under any conditions or restric- 
tions which they shall think convenient, and such order 
and proclamation to revoke and annul, in the same man- 
ner and form, according to their discretion. 

And be it further enacted, that it shall be lawful for the 
said Commissioners or any [blank'] of them by proclama- 
tion under their respective hands and seals from time to 
time to suspend the operation and effect of a certain Act 
of Parliament, made and passed in the sixteenth year of 
the reign of his present Majesty for prohibiting all trade 
and intercourse with certain Colonies and Plantations 
therein named, and for the other purposes therein also 
mentioned, or any of the provisions or restrictions 
therein contained, for such convenient time as the said 
Commissioners shall think proper, specifying in such proc- 
lamation at what times and places respectively, and with 
what exceptions and restrictions, the said suspension shall 
take effect, and the said suspension and proclamation in 
the same manner and form to annul and revoke according 
to their discretion. 

And be it further enacted hy the authority aforesaid, 
That the said Commissioners or any [blank'] of them may 
and they are hereby authorized and empowered to sus- 
pend in such places, and for such times as they shall 
think lit, during the continuance of this Act, the opera- 
tion and effect of all or any of the Act or Acts of Parlia- 
ment which have passed since the 10th day of February, 
1763, and which relate to any of his Majesty's Colonies, 
Provinces, or Plantations in North America, so far as the 
same do relate to them, or the operation and effect of any 
clause, or any provisions or matters therein contained, so 



far as such clause, provisions, or matters relate to any of 
the said Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations.* 

And that no lett or hindrance may happen from the 
vacancy of the office of Governor and Commander in 
Chief in any of the said Colonies, Provinces, or Planta- 
tions respectively, or from the absence of such officer 
from his government ; Be it further enacted by the 
authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners or any 
[blank'] of them shall have full power and authority in 
any of the said Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations re- 
spectively, wherein his Majesty hath usually heretofore 
nominated and appointed a Governor, to nominate and 
appoint by any instrument under their hands and seals a 
proper person to be the Governor and Commander in 
Chief in and for any such Colony, Province, or Planta- 
tion, to have, hold, and exercise, during his Majesty's 
pleasure, the said office of Governor and Commander in 
Chief in and for such Coloiry or Plantation respectively, 
with all such powers and authorities as any Governor of 
such Province heretofore appointed by his Majesty might 
or could have exercised, in as full and ample manner and 
form as if such Governor and Commander in Chief had 
been nominated and appointed by his Majesty's Letters 
Patent or Commission, and for that purpose, if need be, 
to revoke, annul, and make void any Commission or Let- 
ters Patent heretofore granted for appointing any such 
Governor and Commander in Chief. 

And be it further enacted, That this Act shall continue 
in force untill the first day of June which will be in the 
year 1779. 

* In copying this draught of a bill into the Letter Book, Governor Trumbull's clerk 
seems to have carelessly omitted an important paragraph, which in the Boston Gazette 
here follows in these words: "And it is hereby enacted by the authority aforesaid. That 
it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Commissioners or any [blank] of them, and 
they are hereby authorized and impowered to grant a pardon or pardons to any number 
or description of persons within the said Colonies, Provinces, or Plantations.'' This au- 
thorization to the Commissioners to grant a pardon or pardons, etc., was retained iu the 
Act a3 passed. — Eds. 

1778] ' JOHN SULLIVAN. 227 

I do hereby certify that the foregoing are true copies 
of enclosures sent me in a dispatch by the Right Hon. 
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's Principal 
Secretaries of State. 

His Majesty having seen with great concern the calami- 
tous consequences of the dispute with the Colonies, and 
willing to hope that even those who have been most for- 
ward in bringing on these misfortunes are now convinced 
of. the fatal tendency of their conduct, and would gladly 
return to their allegiance, if they were not witheld by 
apprehensions that advantage would be taken of their 
submission to pursue measures dictated by resentment of 
their past behaviour, and to impose upon the Colonies 
intolerable burthens and restraints. To remove all 
grounds of such apprehensions, and to prepare the way 
to the return of peace, the above Bills were read in the 
House of Commons on the 19 th day of February last, in pur- 
suance of an unanimous resolve of that House of the 17 th 
of the same month, and I have his Majesty's command to 
cause them to be printed and dispersed, that the people 
at large may be acquainted with their contents, and of 
the favorable disposition of Great Britain towards the 
American Colonies. 

Given under my hand at New York, this 15 th day of 
April, 1778. 

William Tryox. 


His Excellency Governor Trumlle, Lebanon, Connecticut. J, Sullivan. 

Providence, 22 d April, 1778. 
Dear Sir, — I beg leave to inform your Excellency 
that this Department is almost destitute of troops. One 

* John Sullivan was born in Berwick, Me., Feb. 17. 1740, and died in Durham, X. H., 
Jan. 23, 1705. In June, 1775, he was appointed by Congress one of the eight Brigadier- 
Generals in the American army. He served nearly to the end of the war, when he resigned 


company only has arrived from Massachusetts & not a 
man from Connecticut or New Hamp r . 1 in treat your 
Exce 7 to order on the troops from your State as soon as 
possible, as the enemy are well acquainted with our 
situation & may avail themselves of it whenever they 
think proper : I congratulate your Excellency upon the 
acrreable intelligence from France, & have the honor to 
be, with much respect. 

% Your Exc ys most obed* serv* 

Jn° Sullivan. 

His ExcJ" Governor Tremble. 


Lebanon, 23 d April, 177S. 

Sir, — Your letter of the 17 th instant from New York 
is recieved with its enclosures, and the several similar 
packets of various addresses with which it was accom- 

Propositions of peace are usually made from the supreme 
authority of one contending power to the similar author- 
ity of the other; and the present is the first instance within 
my recollections where a vague, half blank, and very in- 
definite draft of a bill once only read before one o^ three bodies 
of the legislature of a nation has ever been addressed to 
the people at large of the opposite power, as an overture 
of reconciliation. There was a day when even this step 
from our then acknowledged parent state might have been 
accepted with joy and gratitude. But that day, Sir, is 
passed irrevocably. The repeated insolent rejection of 
our sincere and sufficiently humble petitions, the iinpro- 

on account of impaired health. After leaving the army he served in Congress for a hrief 
period, and 611ed various important offices in his native State. See Appleton's Cyclo- 
paedia of .American Biography, vol. v. pp. 7-10, 7-41; 2 Sparks's American Blographv, vol. 
iii. ; Amory's Military Life and Public Services of Major-General John Sullivan.— Eds. 


yoked commencement of hostilities, the barbarous inhu- 
manity which has marked the prosecution of the war on 
your part in its several stages, the insolence which dis- 
plays itself on every petty advantage, the cruelty which 
has been exhausted on those unhappy men whom the 
fortune of war has thrown into your hands, — all these 
are insuperable and eternal bars to the very idea of con- 
cluding a peace with Great Britain on any other condi- 
tions than the most absolute and perfect independency. 

To the Congress of the United States of America, 
therefore, all proposals of this kind are to be addressed. 
And }'ou must give me leave, Sir, to say that the present 
mode bears too much the marks of an insidious design to 
disunite the people, and to lull us into a state of quie- 
tude and negligence of the necessary preparations for the 
approaching campaign. 

If this be the real design it is fruitless. If peace be 
really the object let your proposals be addressed properly 
to the proper power, and your negotiations honorably 
conducted, we shall then have some prospect of (what is 
the most ardent wish of every honest American) a lasting 
and honorable peace. The British nation may then, per- 
haps, find us as affectionate and valuable friends as we 
now are determined and fatal enemies, and derive from 
that friendship more solid and real advantage than the 
most sanguine can expect from conquest. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant. 

Jos TH Trumbull. 

P. S. I have taken the liberty of enclosing to 3-our 
care a letter for M r3 Bruce, lady to Doct r Bruce, from her 
son, who is at school in this town. 

Gov r Tryon. 


On publich service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq. Lebanon. 

Fairfield, April 24 th , 1778. 

Sir, — Your Excellency's two last favours of the 10 th in- 
stant came to hand both together on the 12th. I immedi- 
ately sent for Major Abell, who is the recruiting officer 
appointed in this brigade by the Hon a Gen* Assembly, 
and shewed him your orders, and gave him a return of 
the draughted men in Col° Whiteing's, Col Moselev's, & 
Col Beardsley's regiments; (from Col Mead's I have 
never yet got any return, and find that the beaming of 

J CD «/ ' O O 

this week he had not had any detachment made for the 
purpose, tho I have since the 10 th of March wrote him 
3 or 4 pressing letters on the subject). And I gave 
Major Abell directions to collect the draughts that had 
been made & march them to N. Haven with all possible 
dispatch; but he meets with great difficulty in the doing 
of it, and yesterday told me that he thought he could not 
effect it without a military force to assist. 

On the 1 st of May the time of service of the militia on 
duty in these parts expires. Col Mead's officers have 
begun to inlist men for the defence of the State, but 
meet with but little success as yet; so that there will be 
no men from that regiment to take the posts this way on 
the first of May which the militia now occupy. Some 
there are that are too important to be relinquished. The 
battery at Battery Point in this town, consisting of 2 
twelve pound, 1 nine, and 2 six pound cannon, with 
shott & other proper stores, and a store house for the 
military stores & barracks for 28 men, will then be left 
unguarded. The consequence it is not difficult to fore- 
see. The preservation of these important articles is a 
matter to[o] important to be neglected, and the safety of 
this town absolutely requires this battery to be taken 
care of, about which I have lately fully wrote your 



Excellency. But as I have received no direction in this 
matter, and as no provision is yet made for it, I have 
this day by the advice of Col Davenport, Major Adams 
& M r Burr, all now here, given orders to Leiu fc Isaac 
Burr who commands at the battery, to inlist 1 Serf, 2 
Corporals, & 25 Privates to serve as a garrison there un- 
till your Excellency & your Councill of Safety or the 
General x\ssemb]y shall give further orders about the 
matter, which I entreat your Excellency to do as soon 
as may be. This number of officers and men I conceive 
to be absolutely necessary for that post. 

It was mentioned whether L* Odell with his company 
of Matrosses might not be moved to the batterv ; but it 
was thought that it would not do for him to 2:0 there, 
because his company were raised to take care of the field 
peices in this town, and after the 1 st of May they will be 
the only guard we shall have for our military stores here, 
consisting of cannon, cannon shott, cannon & musquet car- 
triges, tents & camp utensils, of too great value & import- 
ance to be left unguarded. 

I hope your Excellency & Councill will not think the 
measure wrong, but beg to be informed as soon as 

I am, your Excellency's 

Most obedient and most hum 6 seiV. 

His Excels Gov r Tkumbull. G. SeLLECK SlLLIMAN. 


York Town, May 18 th , 177S. 

Sir, — The inclos d Resolution of Congress is the result 
of the most painfull & disagreable question that hath ever 
been agitated in Congress. 

o o 

* Samuel Huntington, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Wind- 
ham, Conn., July 3, 1731, and died in Norwich, Jan. 5, 170G. From 177t> to ITSj he was a 


The question was stur d before Co 1 Dyer left Congress, 
& he will be able to give some account of the matter & 
sentiments of many of the States thereon. 

A most disagreable & serious debate hath continued 
about seven weeks, a bill being bro 1 in for an half 
pay establishment for life for the officers, & to their 
widows during their widowhood. Several collateral ques- 
tions were determined in the progress of the debate, 
which shewed that eight of the States were in favour 
of the establishment for life, &c, as above ; Rhode 
Island, Connecticutt, New Jersey, & South Carolina 
strenuously in the negative, New Hampshire being 

General Washington wrote repeatedly upon the sub- 
ject, expressing his great concern, & the necessity of the 
measure. In one of his letters he says, that alltho' he 
never would take any benefit of such an establishment 
himself, yet he did most religiously believe the salvation 
of the army depended upon it ; many of the States 
deemed the measure not only absolutely necessary but 
salutary, just, & reasonable. 

The justice as well as necessity of doing some thing 
for the army was obvious ; to increase their wages would 
so directly tend to depreciate the currency it appear* 
dangerous as well as futile. 

Finally after long debate & delay, in hope some favour- 
able event might turn up, even til delay became danger- 
ous, the bill was carried for an establishment for life, but 
the four States who were in the negative, as before men- 
tioned, persevering & urging the dangerous tendency of 
such a measure as being totally inconsistent with free 

delegate to Congress, and from Sept., 1779, to July, 1781, President of that body. From 
177-1 to 1784 he was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and Governor of the 
State from 1786 to 1796. See Aprdeton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iii. 
p. 320; Huntington Family Memoir, pp. 111-117. For notices of Roger Sherman and Oliver 
Wolcott, see antt, pp. 25 a., 75 n. — Eds. 


States, repugnant to principals upon which this great 
controversy was begun & by which it must & ought to be 
defended, with many other arguments & observations too 
tedious to be enumerated, the majority of the delegates 
of Massachusetts came over to the negative side of the 

There appearing a serious concern in Congress to adopt 
some mode in this important matter, in which they might 
unite so as to answer the necessities of the army, & pre- 
serve harmony & unanimity in all the States, a reconsid- 
eration of the Bill was proposed & an amendment moved 
& finally adopted, which is the inclos d resolution, provid- 
ing both for officers & soldiers such a reward as should 
be deemed equal in value to their wages at the original 

It is allmost impossible to give a clear & full represen- 
tation of the difficulties attending this debate, on both 
sides the question, to any gentleman who w T as not present ; 
however many weighty reasons not here mentioned will 
readily occur to your Excellency. 

If the inclos d Resolve is not the best measure the nature 
& circumstances of the case would admit, it is certainly 
the best that could be obtain d . 

Your Excellencies late correspondence with General 
Try on meets with universal approbation. 

We have just receiv d intelligence that North Carolina 
have acceeded to the Articles of Confederation ; if the 
delegates from New Hampshire should arrive with 
powers to ratify, which we hope will soon be the case, 
there is a prospect the Confederation may soon be 

Duplicates of the Treaties of Alliance & Commerce, 
with France, arrived here yesterdav, & bv the same 
packet we have adv'ce that on the 20 th of March Doc r 
Franklin was formally receiv d as Embassador from 
these States at the Court of Yersailes, & that his Most 


Christian Majesty had named an Embassador to reside 

We are, with much esteem, 

Your Excellencies obedient; humble servants, 

Roger Sherman. 
Sam ll Huxtixgtox. 
Oliver Wolcott. 

Gov' Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 18 th May, 1778. Connecticut Delegates, de half pay. N. 
Carolina acceed to Confideration ; rec d p Brown, 26 th ins* mane. 


Your Excellency having been requested by the Marine 
Committee to have a packet boat in readiness to carry 
important dispatches to France, we have now sent such 
to your care, conditionally, which we desire you to give in 
charge to a trusty Captain, to deliver with his own hands 
to our Commissioners at Paris. Your wisdom will dictate 
pointed orders for conveying the packets without injury, 
w th secresy & with dispatch ; but, for sinking them in 
case the vessel should be unfortunately taken. 

We are respectfully, 

Your Excellency's humble servants. 

Richard Hexry Lee. 

James Lovell. 

York Town, May 19 th , 1778. 
Governour Trumbull. 

* Richard Henry Lee (born at Stratford, Va., Jan. 20, 17-32; died at Chantilly, Va., 
June 19, 1794) was a member of Congress from Virginia, 1774-1780 and 1781-1737. James 
Lovell (born in Boston Oct. 31, 1737 ; died in Windham, Me., July 14, 1814) was a mem- 
ber of Congress from Massachusetts, 1776-17S2. Mr. Lee served on an unusually large 
number of committees of Congress, and was refteatedly chosen on special committees for 
instructing the agents in foreign countries. Mr. Lovell was added to the committee on 
foreign affairs May 20, 1777. See &ppleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 
iii. pp. 004, 665; vol. iv. pp. 35, 30; Lanman's Biographical Annals, pp. 255, 204, 4S7, 
489; Life and Correspondence of R. H. Lee, by his grandson; Journals of Congress, vol. 
iii. p. 201. — Los. 



Hartford, May 30 th , 17*73. 

Sir, — Yours of the 25 th instant/' I recieved with its 
enclosures, which was laid before the Gen 1 Assembly. 
Whatever the object of the enemy may be in the move- 
ment you mention the appearance of danger rouses the 
attention of the Assembly to make such provision as was 
proper and necessary on their part to repel an inva- 
sion, and accordingly have resolved that those who have 
already enlisted into the six battalions heretofore ordered 
to be raised be immediately sent forward to the Saw Pits, 
that two battalions to consist of 728 men each, including 
officers, be forthwith raised by peremptory detachment 
from the militia, to continue in service two months, un- 
less sooner discharged, and to be liable to do duty, either 
in or out of the State, as circumstances may require, and 
that three companies of light dragoons, consisting of 60 
men each, be immediately raised in the same manner, 
for the same term, and for the like purpose, and will be 
forwarded with the greatest dispatch. 

I send your Honor enclosed the copy of a letter ad- 
dressed to me from W m Tryon, Esq 1 ', relative to some late 
Acts of Parliament containing overtures of reconciliation, 
&c., with the answer returned, together with the copy of 
a letter from me to the same gentleman, respecting a 
small bag addressed to me p r flag, &c. 

By letters from General Sullivan of the 26 th instant, we 
are informed that the enemv, taking advantage of our 
defenceless situation in that quarter, landed at Warwick 
about 700 men in the morning of the 25 th , proceeded to 
Kickamnit, burnt the flat bottomed boats before a suffi- 
cient number from the country could be collected to make 

* General Gates's letter to Governor Trumbull, of this date, was printed in 5 Mass. Hist. 
Coll., vol. x. p. 313. — Eds. 


a successful opposition in their town ; they destroyed a 
small magazine of powder, a number of carriages, and a 
small quantity of provisions, and had collected a num- 
ber of cattle which they were obliged to leave to escape 
the force that had collected, and was almost up with 
them. When they embarked about 200 of our men, 
under the brave Colonel Barton, had got up with and 
enfm^ed them for some time, but the number on our side 
was not then sufficient to do them much injury. The gal- 
lant Colonel was unfortunately wounded in the action; it 
is hoped it will not prove mortal. In this transaction we 
have a recent instance of that savaire conduct wdiich has 
characterized the enemy from the beginning of this con- 
troversy, which as in other instances, so in the present, it 
is hoped will be so far from subserving the cause they 
endeavour to support that it will be a means, by uniting 
our counsels and exciting our resentment, eventually to 
overturn that system of tyranny which the power of 
Britain has been engaged to establish. 

Your express is necessarily detained to this clay. 
I am, Sir, yours, &c. 

J— T L. 

Maj r Gen. Gates. 


Providence, State of R. Island, July lS th , 1778. 
Sir, — Yours of the 13 th instant, enclosing a resolve of 
your Council of Safety, came to hand, and I have laid 
the same before the Council o[ War here, and for answer 
I have to inform you that they approved of the resolve 
of your Council for discontinuing the couriers through 
the different States of New England, as the continental 

* William Greene (born in Warwick, R. L, Aug. 16, 17.11, died there Nov. 29, 1509) 
•was Governor "f Rhode Island from 1778 to 178(5. — Et)S. 

t Printed fruin the copy in Trumbull's Letter Hook. — Ens. 

1778.] WILLIAM GREENE. 237 

posts now ride the stages regular. The courier from this 
State to Exeter in New Hampshire has rode from the 3 d 
day of January, 1778, at the rate of one hundred and 
twenty pounds for each quarter, and we propose to con- 
tinue him in the business till the third day of Aug 1 next. 

Your Excellency will please to transmit to me by the 
next post the sum of money your State has advanced for 
the service of the courier from your State to this, that a 
general account may be stated, and an average properly 
made out, in order that the balances may be paid to whom 

As to the commissions you mentioned, I have not any ; 
otherwise should gladly have obliged } r ou. 

I have to inform your Excellency that on the night of 
the 15 th instant twenty-one sail of transports arrived at 
Newport, supposed from New York, in which, it is said, 
are two thousand troops. Your Excellency can easily 
concieve the perplexed circumstances that this State must 
be in from the little attention our sister States pay to the 
protection of it. The Massachusetts, so far from send- 
ing the two hundred men they promised in lieu of that 
number of your State's quota, have not sent but about 
one third of their own. Every consideration of interest 
and honor calls on New England to keep up a sufficient 
army for the defence of these States that they may not 
tamely suffer the enemy to get footing in the main, and 
at this late day of the dispute, when we doubt not our 
invaders will soon be under a necessity to quit this land 
of liberty and retire to their abodes of tyranny, provided 
a spirited stand is now made. 

I am, with the greatest esteem, 

Your Excellency's most obedient & most humble serv fc . 

W. Greene. 

His Excellency Gov r Tkumbull. 



Philadelphia, 19''" July, 1778. 

jt ^ble g IR? __ j n || ie recess f Congress I am called 
upon by his Excellency le S r Girard, minister plenipo- 
tentiary from bis Most Christian Majesty to the United 
States of America, in order to obtain from Connecticut 
such aids as his Excellency Count D'Estaing, Vice Ad- 
miral of France, commander of a squadron of ships of 
war of his Most Christian Majesty, may stand in need of, 
admitting Count D'Estaing shall proceed from Sandy 
Hook to Rhode Island. 

I have therefore taken the liberty in the name of Con- 
gress to address your Honor, requesting you to afford 
all the assistance in your power to Count D'Estaing, upon 
his Excellency's requisition, for the general service of the 
French fleet, and for facilitating the Vice Admiral's in- 
tended operations, particularly that a sufficient number 
of skilful pilots may be held in constant readiness for 
conducting the fleet, if necessary, into New London. 

From a reflexion that his Excellency General Wash- 
ington has undoubtedly written to you on this subject, 
as well as from a certain persuasion that your Honor will 
upon every occasion cheerfully contribute to promote the 
service of his Most Christian Majesty, our good ally, in 
which the safety and welfare of these States are inter- 
woven, I have intimated to Mons r Girard that the present 
application will scarcely be necessary. By this as it may, 

* Henry Laurens, of Huguenot descent, was born in Charleston, S. C, in 1724, and 
early engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 177C he was elected a delegate to Congress, and 
from Xov., 1777 to Dec, 1778, served as President. In the following year he was ap- 
pointed minister to Holland, but was captured on the voyage, carried to London, and 
impri.-oned in the Tower for more than a year. He w:ts finally exchanged for Lord Corn- 
wallis. and was appointed one of the commissioners to treat for peace with Great Britain. 
After signing the preliminary articles he returned to the United States and died in Charles- 
ton Dec. 8, 1702. Sec Applcton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. id. pp. 630, 
601 . —Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1778.] JOIIX SULLIVAN. 239 

it is with great pleasure I embrace the opportunity of 
assuring your Honor of the continued good wishes, es- 
teem & respect, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

Henry Laurens, 

Pres f of Congress. 

The Hon ble Jon™ Trumbull, Esq r , 
Governor of Connecticutt. 


Providence, July 24 th , 1778. 

Sir, — Yesterday I recieved a letter from his Excel- 
lency General Washington, desiring me to call upon the 
several New England States for a body of militia to con- 
tinue in this Department during his pleasure. The 
Congress by a resolve of the 11 th instant empowered 
his Excellency to call upon the States from New Hamp- 
shire to New Jersev for such militia as he may iudsre 
necessary to co-operate with the French fleet. At this 
request I therefore call upon Connecticut for five hun- 
dred men to march for this place com plea tly equipped 
as soon as possible. I well know your State is greatly 
exhausted bv the large reinforcements she has sent to the 
western army. But I need not urge the necessity of our 
making one vigorous exertion at this juncture. Reason 
and your own desire to give the mortal blow to our com- 
mon enemy sufficiently points it out. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your very humble servant, 

Jn° Sullivan. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 



Pkovidexce, July 24 th , 1778. 

Sir, — I have this moment letters from General Wash- 
ington, by the hand of one of his aids, ordering me in 
the most positive terms to call on the New England Slates 
for assistance sufficient to make an attack on Rhode 
Island, in conjunction with the French fleet, and there- 
fore wish you, notwithstanding my former letters, im- 
mediately to forward to Providence such number of 
militia as can possibly be spared from the State of Con- 
necticut, also to communicate my request to the several 
independent companies and gentlemen volunteers, who 
you shall think will step forward at this time, to strike 
an effectual blow upon our common enemy. No time 
can be lost in forwarding the troops to this post. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your very humble servant, 

Jn° Sullivan. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Lebanon, July 25 th , 1778. 

Dear Sir, — Received your favor of the 24 th this day 
by M T Dabney. Agreeable to your request have ordered 
seven companies of infantry and one company of ma- 
trosses officered and equipped to march forthwith to 
join the forces under your command at Providence, 
which, I conclude, will make the compliment of men 
required, they being troops already raised in this State, 
but, being stationed at different parts, will require some 
more time than otherwise would be necessary in order 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

177S.] JOHN SULLIVAN. 241 

to join yon, yet is much the most expeditious method 
that could be adopted of affording you succour. 

The French fleet, I am advised by General Washington, 
are on their way to Newport, which before this I con- 
clude you have recieved intelligence of by Col Laurens. 

I could wish our exertions might be such at this junc- 
ture, in conjunction with the French fleet as to give a 
mortal blow to our inveterate enemies, and cause them 
to relinquish their cruel and tyrannical purposes towards 

I have the misfortune to acquaint you that my son, 
the late Commissary General, departed this life on the 
23 d instant about four o'clock, a. M., after a long and 
tedious illness. The Lord rei^neth, and whatsoever he 
doth is right. Although this dispensation of Providence 
touch eth me nearly I would not murmur or repine, but 
rather improve in virtue by the things I suffer. 
I am, w T ith esteem and regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

J. T- L. 

Maj r Gen 1 Sullivan. 


Providence, July 25 th , 177S. 

Dear Sir, — The first letter from Gen 1 Washington 
informing of the Count D'Estaing's intention of coming 
to Rhode Island unfortunately was not recieved by me 
till the 23 d instant. His other letter, in which I am 
ordered to collect together the troops in this and the 
neighbouring States for the intent of co-operating with 
the Count was recieved the 24 th . In consequence of 
which every thing possible is done that could be within 
so short a period. But I am under the necessity of re- 

* Printed from the copy ia Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


questing you to forward with the greatest imaginable 
dispatch such quantity of provisions as you may have in 
your power for the sustinence of the troops collected and 
now collecting; for unless this is done 1 shall he obliged 
to disband them, not having any here of consequence 
for their support. I am very sorry to find that the pro- 
visions which I expected were designed for this port have 
been sent from Westborough to headquarters. Had my 
expectation been answered I should not now have been 
obliged to trouble you. 

I expect to hear of the Count's arrival every hour, and 
I am without either provisions or troops to co-operate with 
him. I must therefore beg every assistance from you 
that you can possibly grant, and am, my dear Sir, with 
much esteem and respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, 

Jn° Sullivan. 


Lebanon, 27 th July, 1778. 

Sir, — Since writing mine of the 25 th I recieved another 
of yours of the 24 th , requesting such number of mili- 
tia as can possibly be spared from this State. My Council 
was just before dismissed till Tuesday morning ; shall 
then take up the consideration of it. We are impressed 
with the importance of the design to dislodge our cruel 
foes from any footing in your State, as from any part of 
the continent. Just after this I recieved yours of the 
25 th requesting me to forward with the greatest dispatch 
imaginable such quantity of provisions as is in our power. 
In the mean time, to prevent danger from delay, 1 have 
enclosed an order on Samuel Elliot, Esq r , our agent at 
Boston, to deliver you or your order, or the Commissary 
General or his order, for the use of the Continental 

17 7S.] SAMUEL ELIOT, JR. 24 

troops at Providence, to be replaced or accounted for, 
fifty barrels of beef. The consideration of- this must refer 
untill the meeting of my Council to-morrow. Please to 
forward the enclosed to M r Elliot. 

I am, with great esteem & regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

j T L. 

Maj r General Sullivan. 


Boston, August 3 d , 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — I have to acquaint you by M r "Wasson of 
the arrival of the Ship Defence in this harbour from 
Charlestown. It was very unfortunate for the whole that 
permission was not given Cap* Smedley to leave his ship 
out and clean her bottom. It would have been much for 
the advantage of the State and the crew. But as it was 
not granted, it certainly was prudent to put into port. 
M r Wasson was on board the ship ; he will be able 
to give your Excellency a particular account of their 

Cap* Smedley did himself much honor by going out of 
Charlestown and capturing two of the enemy's privateers 
and carrying safe into port. He informs me that they 
were committed to the care of Rose and Torrans. 

Your Excellency may depend on my attention to the 
interest of the State ; and as I have almost every article 
wanted for fitting out a warlike ship the Defence may be 
ready in a very short time for a cruize, either off Sandy 
Hook, Newport, the Sound, or anywhere else. 

If it would not trouble you too much, I would request 

* Samuel Eliot, Jr., or Elliot, as the name was often written, was the third son of the 
Hev. Dr. Andrew Eliot. See note, ante, p. 53. — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Cook. -- Eds. 


the favor of answer to mine and M r Shirley's letter of the 
6 th " of July. M r Shirley appears very uneasy about them. 
I remain 

Your dutiful servant, 

Sam l Elliot, Jun e . 

Gov r Trumbull. 


Boston, August 3 d , 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — I am to inform your Excellency of the 
ship Defence's arrival into this port after a cruise from 
Charlestown of about four weeks, not so successful as § I 
could wish, but the ship being so very foul (it being more 
than eight months since she was cleaned) obliged me to 
come into port. The authority of Charlestown would not 
permit me to lay my ship on shore, but obliged me to per- 
form quarantine at the harbour's mouth, on account of 
my having had the smallpox on board during the cruize. 
They would not .suffer the ship to go up to Charlestown, 
notwithstanding the repeated promises I had of being 
permitted every week. Could I have gone up to Charles- 
town, the ship might have been compleatly fitted for the 
sea, which w T as my entire view in going into that place. 
But after waiting week after week without any prospect 
of being in the end suffered to go on with cleaning my 
ship, I was obliged to put the ship into the best condition 
my bad situation would allow and proceed to sea. After 
this was done I recieved intelligence from the Governor 
of there being three privateers cruizing on the coast, 
which greatly annoyed them, with his desire that I would 
proceed immediately after that [them ?], which I accord- 

* Samuel Smedley was promoted to be first lieutenant of the brig Defence Jan. 10, 1TT7, 
and in February wa^ appointed captain ' : for the present cruise." He appears to have con- 
tinued in command of the vessel, and to have been quite successful in making captures. See 
Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 1776,-Feb., 1778, pp. 156, 168. — Eos. 
t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Buok. — Eos. 


ingly did, and had the fortune to fall in with them, two of 
which 1 soon captured ; the other made off while they 
were securing the prisoners on board. The next day I 
got safe with them into Charlestown, with a large Ber- 
mudian sloop of twelve guns and 72 men, and a sloop of 
eight guns & 36 men. The prisoners I delivered to 
authority. The vessels I delivered to M r Rose, who will 
transmit to you* Excellency a particular account of the 
whole. My clerk, M r Wasson, will be able to answer any 
particular enquiries your Excellency pleases to make. 
My people's times are out. They will expect their wages 
and discharge. I wait your Excellency's orders about 
the ship, which I am ever happy to obey. 
I am, with the most profound respect, 

Your Excellency's most obliged & most obedient, 

Sam l Smedley. 

M r Wasson w r ill deliver into your hands the commissions 
of the two prize sloops. 


Lebanon, 6 th Aug 1 , 1778. 

Sir, — M r Wasson delivered me yesterday your letter 
of the 3 d instant. I do sincerely congratulate you on 
your success, both first and last. Your conduct meets 
approbation. Your further directions and orders are con- 
tained in the resolve of myself and Council and in my 
orders which are enclosed, and wish you success in your 
intended cruize. 

I am respectfully, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

J T— L. 

Cap 1 Sam l Smedley. 



Lebanon, G th August, 177S. 

Sir, — Yours of the 3 d instant M r Wasson delivered me 
yesterday. Enclosed is a resolve of myself & Council for 
your direction relative to Cap 1 Smedley and his ship 
The Defiance. How you are in cash am unable to judge. 
The order I had on our Treasurer in your favor have 
done nothing upon, hoping you would not have occasion 
for it, after the coming in of the two last prizes. Hope 
you are able to supply the money necessary for Cap* 
Smedley. All possible dispatch is necessary to get him 
to sea again at this important juncture ; and do not doubt 
your diligent attention to the interest of this State. 

You are acquainted with my melancholy situation occa- 
sioned by the death of my son, and my necessary atten- 
tion to him during his sickness and death at my house. 
God grant that I may make a wise improvement of this 
mournful dispensation of his holy Providence, & hearken 
to this call to be also ready. 

I have enclosed a flag for M r Shirley, &c, left blank for 
the name of the vessel, and also the purposes on the back, 
both to be filled by you. Suppose he would not incline 
to fall into the hurricane months. Have -wrote to the 
President and Council to give him leave to hire a vessel 
to go out of the port of Boston. You will transact the 
matter in the best manner for him and this State, take 
his parole for himself and such of his as are proper for 
the exchange, also M r Phipps' parole. 

Please to inform what may be further necessary con- 
cerning him and any other of the affairs of this State. 
I am most respectfully, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

j on th Trumbull. 

Sam l Elliot, Jun r , Esq r . 

1778.] ROGER SHESMAjN". 217 


Philadeli'hia, Aug* 10 th , 177S. 

Sir, — I hope your Excellency will not impute my 
omitting to write so long a time to neglect of duty ; the 
true reason was, I have had nothing important to write. 
"We have no late accounts from foreign parts, nor has 
anything remarkable occurred here. Congress has been 
employed about the ordinary affairs of the Continent. 
The minister plenipotentiary from the court of France 
had a public audience last Thursday; the manner of it is 
contained in the enclosed paper. The operations of war 
being at the eastward, your Excellency has earlier intel- 
ligence of them than we have here. Our affairs wear a 
prosperous aspect, except the currenc}^. I expected it 
would have been attended to by Congress long before 
now, but a multiplicity of other affairs have prevented 
it. I am appointed one of a committee to repair [to ?] 
the camp, and assist in the new arrangement of the 

The Indians and more barbarous Tories have desolated 
our settlements at Westmoreland. Congress sent two 
regiments of Continental troops with some militia to 
repel the enemy. The account given in a Poughkeepsie 
paper is said to be much beyond the truth. Expect to 
go to the army this week, and from thence intend to go 
home before I return to this place. 

I heartily condole with your Excellency the death of 
your son, the late Commissary General ; his great public 
services deserve a grateful remembrance. 

I am, with great esteem, 

Your Excellency's obedient, hble. servant. 

Roger Sherman. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Er>s. 



Philadelphia, August 11, 1778. 

Sir, — Since my arrival at Congress nothing of a pub- 
lic nature has presented to furnish the subject of a letter 
that your Excellency would not be apprized of by the 
public papers more fully and at large than you could in 
a private letter. The removal of Congress from York- 
town and the reception of the French minister have en- 
grossed a great part of our time, the remainder has been 
spent principally in the common routine of business which 
arises daily, and tho' very necessary to be done, could 
not deserve your Excellency's attention in the recital. 
The extreme heat of the season which threw me into a 
slight fever on the road confined me several days, and 
having kept me in a feverish habit ever since, hath 
obliged me to be cautious of writing or applying to any 
business or exercise tending to encrease it. 

Congress are very industrious, yet many affairs of great 
importance are crouded out and postponed by an in- 
evitable attention to events and business constantly aris- 
ing ; and although I have nothing of consequence to 
inform you of which they have done, I have many things 
I can mention which they have not done. They have 
not taken into consideration the state of our paper cur- 
rency, nor di vised any means to stop the headlong current 
of depreciation. They have not settled their accounts 
with the army, the Commissary General, the Quarter- 
master General, the Clothier General, the Commercial 
Committee, or any other large department. 

They have not settled any mode by and. in which they 

* Titu" Ilosmer was born in Middletown, Conn., in 1736, graduated at Tale College in 
1757, and practised law. He was a delegate to Congress in 1775 and 177G, and from 1777 
to 1770. lie died in Middletown Aug. 4, 1780. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American 
Biography, vol. iii. pp.268, 209; Lanman's Biographical Annals, pp. 211, 437; Dexter's 
Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol, ii. pp. 408-470. — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1778.] TITUS HOSMER. 2-19 

can call their great servants authoritatively to account 
for the expenditure of public monies, They have not 
constituted and empowered a Board of Treasury nor a 
Marine Board, though each seems to be generally allowed 
to be necessarv to release the attendance of members of 
Congress, and give them leisure to attend to more general 
and necessary business, which can be done only in Con- 
gress or by its members. All these matters are in pros- 
pect, and are to be attended to as soon and as fast as 
other business will admit, yet I fear much time will elapse 
before they are brought to a conclusion. 

I beg leave to condole with, your Excellency in the loss 
you have sustained in your amiable son, the late Com- 
missary General. I am sensible your own mind must 
have suggested every argument and consolation which 
reason or religion can furnish, yet permit me to express 
my tender concern and wish that } r ou may be supported 
under so severe a trial, and that your important loss may 
be compensated by spiritual blessings. 

I have made it my business since I was here to en- 
deavour to sap the foundation, and overturn that resolve 
which forbids issuing money to any person out of office 
untill his accounts are settled, which appears to me in 
many cases very unreasonable, and had good hopes soon 
to accomplish it with the assistance of sundry gentlemen 
of more experience and weight than I could pretend to, 
but am now at a loss how to apply to the advantage of 
the late Commissary General's accounts, if effected, or 
what method will be adopted for their settlement; but 
shall be always happy to contribute all in my power to 
procure justice to be done to the family and heirs of one 
for whom I had so great an esteem and friendship, whom 
I always beleived to possess strict integrity and to have 
served his country with honor and fidelity and great 

Will your Excellency be pleased to remember me to 


Col° Williams and M 1 Wales, to whom I intended to have 
wrote by this post, but the time will fail me, and to the 
other gentlemen of your Council, and permit me to sub- 
scribe myself, 

Your Excellency's most respectful, most obedient, 
and most hble. servant, 

His Excellency Gov' Trumbull. TlTUS HoSMEtt. 


Providence, 14 th August, 1778. 

Sib, — I recieved an express last night from Maj r Gen- 
eral Sullivan at his head quarters, now on the island of 
Rhode Island, informing of me that by the severity of the 
storm he has been so unfortunate as to have [lost?] al- 
most the whole of his cartridges, and therefore requests 
me to send him as many as can be procured, and having 
here but about 12,000 of them, and half a ton of powder, 
which I have ordered to be made up into musquet car- 
tridges immediately, lays me under a necessity to call 
upon your Excellency, that in case you can procure any 
musquet cartridges or pistol powder, so as to make it 
worth while, considering the quantity, to send them for- 
ward, that you will please to forward them with the 
utmost dispatch. 

I have also wrote to Major General Heath upon the 
same subject. 

The French fleet sailed from here last Monday, in pur- 
suit of the fleet which lay in the offing, commanded by 
Lord Howe, and as the wind has been so violent, I fear 
they will not be able to return again soon. 
I am, with much respect, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

W M Greene. 

* Printed from the copy iu Trumbull's Letter Book. — £t>3. 

17 78.] WILLIAM GREENE. 251 


Lebanon, 11 th Augt, 1773. 

Sir, — I received this moment your letter of this date, 
and have instantly sent to Ebenezer Devotion, Esq r , at 
Scotland Society, in Windham, to forward to yon without 
dela} r one hundred barrels of mnsqnet powder in his 
custody, which hope will be with you immediately. 
There is two hundred barrels more at Norwich, if needed. 
Cartridges and bullets to make them up are not to be 
had here, or at least very scarce. The bullets are not 
lost in those which are wet. Hope for a speedy return 
of the fleet. The storm indeed was heavy. The Su- 
preme Director of all events hath the government in his 
hands. Let our waiting: eves be on Him. 
I am most respectfully, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant, 

His Excellency Gov r Greene. JON TH TkTTMBULL. 


Providence, Aug. 14 th , 1778. 
Sir, — I wrote your Excellency this morning for car- 
tridges to supply our army on Rhode Island ; being then 
in great haste I forgot whether I mentioned to you in 
case you had no cartridges ready made, to forward the 
powder immediately to this place where we make it into 
cartridges, and forward them as fast as made. I beg 
your Excellency to forward it as soon as possible, as the 
army is in the greatest want. 

I am, with great esteem. Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant, 
Gov Trumbull. W. GREENE. 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ed3. 

or, o 



Philadelphia, August 20 th , 1778. 

Sir, — -I wrote you several letters whilst abroad, but as 
I received none in return I supposed that the important 
business you have been constantly in prevented your an- 
swering them, or that your letters have failed by the com- 
mon accidents of the times. The latter I am the more 
disposed to conclude the case, as I flatter myself I have 
ever held a place in your memory and friendship, and as 
the letters I wrote your worthy son lately deceased met 
with the same fate. Be assured, Sir, I feel most sin- 
cerely for the heavy loss you have sustained. The inti- 
mate friendship which had long subsisted between us 
•uninterruptedly, even from our earliest acquaintance 
with each other, makes me feel for my own loss by this 
event, and it is under such circumstances that we are 
ever most sincerely affected for others. I know that 
under e\ery misfortune in life you have consolations 
superior to any in my power to administer, and that com- 
pliments of condolence, too commonly but empty and 
impertinent, must be peculiarly so when addressed to 
a person of your superior reason and -piety, a sense of 
which forbids my saying more on the mournful subject. 

As I apprehend I shall not soon have the honor of 
waiting on you in Connecticut, I shall be happj^ in being 
favored with a correspondence, as far as the important 

* Silas D.jane was born in Groton, Conn., Dec. 24, 1737, graduated at Yale College in 
1758, and shortly afterward engaged, in business pursuits. He was a delegate to Congress 
from Connecticut from 177-4 to 177G. In the latter year he was sent to France as a political 
and financial agent for the united colonies. There he became involved in a quarrel with 
one of his colleagues, Arthur Lee, and in 1777 he was recalled in consequence of dissatis- 
faction with the arrangements he had made in his official capacity. Failing to satisfy 
Congress, he went abroad to obtain additional evidence in his favor; but he was not well 
received by the French authorities, and he then went to Holland and afterward to England, 
where he died in great want, at Dea', Aug. 23, 1789. (Sec Aopleton's C/clopa-dia of Ameri- 
can Biography, vol. ii. p. 116; Lanman's Biographical. Annals, pp. 114, 115; Dexter's 
Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 521—527.) Five volumes of Deane 
Papers have been published by the New York Historical Society. — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1778.] WILLIAM GREENE. 21 


affairs in which you are constantly engaged will admit 
on your part, I expect to return to Europe in the course 
of the autumn coming, and if in my power to serve you 
or your friends, I shall be happy in receiving your com- 
mands, and as I shall probably spend some time abroad, 
if on any occasion I can be serviceable to the State of 
Connecticut, it will give me the greatest pleasure to 
receive and execute their orders. 

I most sincerely congratulate your Excellency and the 
State you preside over on the happy issue of our nego- 
tiations in France. I doubt not they will be equally for- 
tunate elswhere, and that we shall very soon enjoy under 
a settled and permanent peace the blessings of liberty 
and independence. When I reflect that the United Prov- 
inces of Holland supported a war of more than seventy 
years, with very little intermission, before any one power in 
Europe acknowledged them free and independent states, 
and that the Swiss Cantons never obtained an acknowledge 
ment of their sovereignty untill in the last years, when it 
was for the first time formally done by France in a treaty 
with them, I can but consider ourselves peculiarly happy 
in obtaining ours in so short a space of time. 

I have the honor to be, with the most sincere respect, 
Your Excellency's most obedient 

and very hble. servant. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. SlLAS DeANE. 


Providence, 25 th August, 1778. 

Sir, — I am informed by the Deputy Commissary of 
Ordnance Stores that nearly the whole of the powder 
that was remaining in this town has this instant by him 
been sent forward to the army, and as there is the great- 
est probability of there being a further demand for thai 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

254 . THE TRUMBULL PAPERS. [1778. 

article very soon, thought it my duty to request your 
Excellency to send forward with all pqssible dispatch at 
least oue hundred barrels more, as 1 know of no other 
quarter it can be so easily procured from. It may be 
well to mention to whoever may have the care of send- 
ing it forward that the^y inspect the casks before it be 
loaded, as I was informed there was a loss of one cask in 
the quantity sent here the other day, for want, as I sup- 
pose, of the cask not being properly examined. 

I make no doubt before this reaches your Excellency 
that you have recieved the intelligence of the Count 
D'Estaing having left us, and that at a time when every 
circumstance, excepting his conduct, promised success, 
but notwithstanding every argument that was made use 
of by the Generals of the army, he has with his whole 
fleet proceeded to Boston. I heard the enemy landed 
last night on the main land, and carried off two men, but 
what other damage they have committed I have not as 
yet learnt, but as the whole of our fenciblc men is now 
on duty on Rhode Island, except about sixty, mostly 
invalids, left to guard the town of Providence, they now 
have it in their power to land a small party upon any 
part of our seacoast, and commit what destruction they 
may think proper, that I think there is a very great ap- 
pearance of the destruction of this State, notwithstanding 
our exertions in straining every nerve to reduce the 
enemy, for want of that assistance which the New Eng- 
land States certainly, according to human appearance, 
have in their power, notwithstanding the conduct of the 
French fleet. As the enemy have several small vessels 
cruising in our Bay, and very likely others in the Sound, 
I think it may be very dangerous for the vessels which I 
hear are within your State coming this way. 
I am, with much respect, 

Your obedient, humble servant. 

Gov r Tr.UMia-LL. A\ . GllEEXE. 



Lebanon, 25 th August, 1778. 

Sir, — I have recieved your favor of the 8 th inst. with 
the enclosures. 

The probable failure of a second attempt against 
Rhode Island, occasioned by an unexpected resolution of 
the French fleet to go to Boston for repairs of their dam- 
ages sustained in the late very heavy gale of wind, in 
which they were unfortunate enough to be at sea, fills 
me with great anxiety, and will doubtless put a new 
aspect on our affairs. I am very sorry they had not run 
themselves into New London, which is a very capacious 
and convenient harbour, where I think they might have 
repaired their losses w T ith safety to themselves and secur- 
ity to our army on Rhode Island, whose operations 
against the enemy must probably now cease, and their 
attention to be turned to getting themselves a safe foot- 
ing upon the continent. With a suitable co-operation of 
the fleet our prospects of success were very promising. 

In my last I mentioned the death of my son, the late 
Commissary General. I have been turning my thoughts 
on the manner of getting a settlement of his accounts 
with the continent, and of his estate. M r Hoskins, his 
head clerk, is at "Boston ; have sent for him. He will 
afford every assistance in his power. He is a person who 
understands the affairs of the deceased with relation to 
his Commissary accounts best of any one now living. 
Have thought it will be best to have some directions of 
the IIon ble Congress, and for that purpose have proposed 
to Colonel Dyer to go to Congress about the middle of 
next month, by him to send my memorial. By that 
time some one of our members will probably be desirous 
to be released, in which Colonel Dyer may supply his seat. 
It may take some time to deliberate on the subject of 


my memorial. In the mean time I think it not best for 
any one to intermeddle in the estate nntill the resolution 
of Congress is known, how far they will think proper to 
interfere in settlement of the public accounts. 

You will please to send me p r Brown two or three 
dozen commissions for armed vessels. 

I am, with great esteem & regard, Sir, 

Your most obedient and very humble servant, 

Hon b!e Henry Laurens, Esq r , President of Congress. 


Lebanon, 25 th August, 1778. 

Sir, — The receipt of yours of 10 th ult° p r M r Brown, I 
think, has not been acknowledged before this. The dis- 
tresses in which that found me, occasioned by the sick- 
ness of my son, the late Commissary General, his death 
on the 23 d , and the melancholy of my mind, which suc- 
ceeded that event has prevented till this time. I am now 
sending M r Brown to Philadelphia. I am exceedingly 
.anxious to see our Confederation compleated. The four 
States, — how long must the others wait for them ? If 
they are not like to comply soon, should we not con- 
federate without them ? 

Our expectations from the expedition against Rhode 
Island are again like to be blasted. The French fleet, 
which have suffered considerably from the late very un- 
usual gale of wind, have taken a resolution to go for Bos- 
ton to refit and repair their damages. This event will 

* Andrew Adams was born in Stratford, Conn., in January, 1730, graduated at Yale 
College; and studied law. lie was one of the delegate? to Congress, 1777-1780, and 17S1, 
1752. In 1780 he was made one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and in 
1703 he was appointed Chief Justice. lie died in Litchfield Nov. 26, 1797. See Appleton's 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. i. p. 12 ; Lanman'a Biographical Annals, pp. 1, 
487 ; Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 040, Oil. — F.ds. 


put our army on too precarious a footing to remain long 
on an island ; unless some sudden and desperate attempt is 
made (which I wish them to avoid) I think their opera- 
tions against the enemy must cease and their whole 
attention be turned to getting themselves safe landed on 
the continent. I wish this may be effected without loss. 
I was in hopes the fleet would have run themselves into 
New London, where I think their damages might be 
repaired with safety to them, and the same time their 
lying in harbour so contiguous to Rhode Island might 
have proved a security to the operations of the army. 
But they are gone, and with them are fled our fond hopes 
of success from this enterprise. This event will put a 
new aspect on our affairs. The Lord reign eth is our 
hope ; let it be our trust and confidence. 

Colonel Dyer, who has had a long recess from, Congress, 
is now willing to return to a seat ag;am. If either of the 
gentlemen now there are desirous to return to Connecti- 
cut his absence may be supplied by the Colonel, who will 
be at Congress probably the middle of next month on 
business relating to the account and estate of the late 
Commissary General, which will probably take some time 
for deliberation, and during which time Colonel Dyer may 
take a seat in Congress. 

I am, with esteem and regard, gent", 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 

Jon™ Trumbull. 

Hon b!e Roger Sherman, Titus IIosmer, and Andrew Adams, Esq". 


Philadelphia, 29 th August, 1773. 

Sir, — The desire we have of preserving every appear- 
ance of attention in our correspondence with your Ex- 

* Printed from the copy ia Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eos. 


cellency induces us to embrace this opportunity to write 
hy Major Bigelow, though nothing very material hath 
come to our knowledge worthy to be communicated. 
The finances of the States are at present the principal 
subject of the deliberations of Congress. Tuesday, Thurs- 
day, and Saturday of every week are set apart for this 
purpose ; but little progress is yet made. A plan of 
organizing: a Board of Treasury is laid before Congress, 
and is to be taken into consideration this day. It is long 
and complex, — time will not allow us to attempt giving 
you an abstract of it. 

The army on the North River is lying still to watch the 
motions of Sir Henry Clinton in New York. The Rhode 
Island expedition seems only fruitful of events : these 
operations must be better known to your Excellencj" than 
to us. 

Various accounts give ns reason to fear an extensive 
confederacy to fall upon our frontiers is forming under 
the auspices of Col° Butler and other British incendiaries 
among the Indian nations, and unless prevented by some 
speedy and vigorous movements on our part may open a 
scene of ravage and desolation on our borders more dis- 
tressing than any this war, calamitous as it has been, hath 
presented. The Senecas, Otawawas, Weandauts, and 
Mingos (if we are not mistaken) are the principal of the 
hostile tribes, and threaten to fall upon the Indian nations 
who will not join. Gen M c Intosh is at Fort Pitt, where 
he is to be joined by fifteen hundred men from Virginia, 
and to fall upon the settlements of such of the hostile 
Indians as are nearest to him. Carrying the war into 
their settlements is thought the best expedient to break 
their confederacy, and induce them to give over their 
hostile designs. 

Our European intelligence gives us reason to expect 
that a treaty of neutrality and commerce with Holland 
will soon be concluded, and continues to assure us of 

17 78.] JABEZ BO WEN. 259 

the favorable regards of most of the great powers of 

We have nothing further worthy your Excellency's 
notice ; a Hood of small business daily pours in from every 
part of the continent, and pushes aside the great and 
important concerns of the States which we can only 
lament as an evil at present inevitable, and worthy to 
be remedied if any remedy can be found for it. 

Permit us to add our cordial wishes that your Excel- 
lency's important services may be continued, and that 
you may live to see the fruits of your labour in the 
establishment of liberty, peace, and happiness in these 
States, and to assure you that we are, with the greatest 

Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant. 

Titus Hosmeh. 
Andrew Adams. 


Providence, Sunday Morning, 6 o'clock, 
[Aug. 30, 1778.] 

Dear Sir, — By an express bound to New London, 
from the Commissioners of the Navy Board, I have the 
pleasure to inform you, that night before last our army 
retreated from their ground that they occupied, to the 
north part of the island, where they arrived at one 
o'clock. At six the enemy moved out in force to attack. 
They were gallantly recieved by Colonels Livingston and 
Lawrence with the light troops, and soon retreated to 
the main body by orders, their numbers being very un- 

* Jabez Bowen was born in Providence, R. I., June 2, 1739, and graduated at Yale 
College in 1757. lie was a judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 1770-1778, 
and Chief Justice 1780, 1781. Prom 1778 to 178b" he was Deputy Governor of the State. 
He died in Providence, May 7, 181"). See Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 
p. 327 : Dexter'g Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 452-454. — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

260 THE TltUMBULL PAPERS. [1778. 

equal. Two of the enemy's ships of war, with several 

tenders, gained our right flank and began a fire. The 
enemy then endeavoured to turn our right under this 
fire, and attempted a redoubt in front of our right. Maj r 
General Green who commanded the right wing advanced 
upon them with two or three regiments, and being soon 
reinforced drove them back in disorder. The enemy 
repeated the attempt three times, and were as often re- 
pulsed. Our officers and men as well militia as others, 
behaved with the greatest fortitude, not giving up one 
inch of it round the whole day. 

They then attempted to turn our left, but being ad- 
vanced upon by Gen 1 Glover they halted on the ground 
they then occupied. The fire of the musquetry lasted 
with intermissions for near seven hours, and a severe 
canonade was kept up thro' the whole day. The enemy 
have taken some bights about one mile in our front (for- 
merly fortified with some works by them), from whence 
'tis supposed they will retreat this evening. 

General Sullivan writes to me at nine o'clock last even- 
ing, that the victory was compleat, but our loss consid- 
erable. A messenger sent on yesterday reports that we 
had about one hundred killed and wounded; the enemy 
near five. Major Shirburn of New Hampshire has lost 
a leg, and one of Marquis's aids an arm. General Han- 
cock and the Marquis are both in Boston. Col John 
Trumbull is well, as he signed the pass for the light 
horseman that brought the letter. 
I am, in much haste, 

Your Excellency's humble servant. 

Jabez Bowex. 

His Excellency Gov r Tkumbull. 

1778.] JOHN TRUMBULL. 2G1 


Head Quarters on Butts Hill, Rhode Island, 

30 th August, 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — When I wrote you last we were in mo- 
mently expectation of an order to retreat ; accordingly 
after having sent off all our heavy cannon, baggage, &c, 
we retired on Friday night with the army. The right 
wing of the front line marched on the west road ; the left 
with the whole second line and reserve, with their own 
and all the heavy artillery on the east road, marched at 
nine o'clock. The advanced corps of the army marched 
at 10, and the piquet guard followed at 12. We arrived 
on our present ground without the smallest interruption. 
At 7 o'clock the advanced parties posted about 2 miles 
in our front on the two roads were attacked (as they first 
supposed by the small parties only of the enemy), but as 
they soon found by three British regiments on the east 
road, comprising the enemy's right, and four or five Hes- 
sian on the west, composing their left. After a severe 
action our parties were ordered to retire. I delivered the 
order on the east road, and for the first time w T as exposed 
to real danger. The parties retired in very good order, 
tho' pushed by a far superior force. The enemy advanced 
with great order till they found themselves checked by 
the fire of six eighteen pounders and our small field artil- 
lery. They halted on the descent of Quaker Hill, and 

* John Trumbull was the fourth son and youngest child of Governor Trumbull. He 
■was bom in Lebanon June 6, 1756, graduated at Harvard College in MT-i, anil at the out- 
break of the war attracted the notice of Washington, who immediately appointed him an 
aid-de-camp. On several occasions he showed great courage and ability, but a military 
career had slender attractions for him. and hi 1777 he retired from the army to devote him- 
self to painting. In this pursuit the greater part of his subsequent life was engaged; and 
he produced a large number of historical pictures and portraits. lie died in New York 
Nov. 10, 1843. See Hine's Early Lebanon, pp. 93, 102-107; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of 
American Biography, vol. vi. pp. 163, IG'j; Trumbull's Autobiography, Kemini.>cences, 
and Letters, — Eds. 

t Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


formed in order of battle; there remained quiet for near 
an hour, when a considerable force of Hessians and Brit- 
ish infantry advanced on our right covered by two ships 
of war. and advanced to gain our flank. The ships after 
giving two or three broadsides were obliged to withdraw 
from the shot of 2-24s on Bristol Hill and 2--18s which 
we carried down on the beach. Meantime the enemy 
pushed us vigorously, and, as we did not at first appre- 
hend their design, for some time gained ground so far as 
near 100 y ds in rear of an advanced redoubt which they 
attempted to carry. In this moment the General ordered 
down two Continental regiments to support those already 
engaged, and to attack the enemy's left, while Gen 1 
Lovel's brigade of Mass. militia were ordered to attempt 
their right and rear. I was directed to lead them. Be- 
fore we gained our posts the enemy gave way to the 
Continental troops and run so precipitately that we had 
time only to give them two or three fires on their flank, 
which added wings to their flight. 

The militia behaved with admirable spirit, and followed 
the enemy to small musquet shot of a redoubt on a high 
knole. Here 1 halted them behind a stone fence, and 
rode forward to observe the situation of the enemy who 
I knew must be near. On rising the hill about pistol 
shot from the redoubt I found myself in musquet shot of 
about 300 of the enemy, who were a little advanced of 
their whole left line. Had we been sure of support I 
should have ordered the troops on to the redoubt, which 
would instantly have brought on a general action. I am 
now sorry we did not push, as I believe it would have 
been fortunate. 

There was some small action on the left at the same 
time, where we were equally successful, and the day ter- 
minated wholly in out favor. We have about sixty men 
killed, and 180 wounded, according to our best accounts 
(the returns are not yet made in). The enemy must have 


lost more in number, as the} r recieved several well aimed 
fires after they broke and run. 

T\ T e were very quiet since the action ; whether we shall 
attack them is not certain ; that they will not us I believe 
is very sure. I shall write again Dv Strong. Mai or Shir- 
burn of Portsmouth has lost a leg, and Maj* Walker of 
Boston is killed ; several other officers are wounded. 
Lieu 1 W m Livingston was touched by two spent ball in 
the breast, & had his horse's head shot off by a 12 lb. shot. 
On the whole all our troops, both Continental and militia, 
behaved admirably well. 

With the best duty to you and my mother, and love to 
all friends, I am, hon d Sir, 

Your son, 

John Trumbull. 

Gov r Trumbull. 


Lebaxox, 31 st August, 1778. 

Gentlemen, — Your three distinct favors of 10 th & 11 th 
of August have been duly received. Enclosed you will 
find copies of two letters, one of 2 nd April, the other of 5 th 
May, which w r ere sent the marine committee in recom- 
mendation of Capt. Seth Harding. To the last I have 
received no reply. Capt. Harding will now attend Con- 
gress and the committee in person. It will not be neces- 
sary to add anything more than is said in the enclosed 
copies. I wish you to exert your influence in his favor. 
His influence upon the seamen is singular. It is worthy 
of notice how difficult it is to man our Continental ships. 
Believe if he is commissioned there will be no such diffi- 
culty with him. 

I have an account of an action on Rhode Island 
between the enemy and our army. Friday night Gen- 
eral Sullivan with his troops effected a retreat to the 


north end of the island. Saturday morning the enemy 
came out in force to attack him. They were gallantly 
received by the light troops under command of Colonels 
Livingston and Laurens, who being greatly overnumbered 
were ordered to retreat to the main body. The enemy 
under cover of a fire from their ships and tenders at- 
tempted to turn the right flank of our army. They were 
prevented. They then attempted a redoubt in front of 
our right ; here they were opposed by General Greene, 
who repulsed them in three several attacks. An attempt 
was then made on our left. General Glover met and 
obliged them to halt on their ground. The fire of mus- 
quetry with some intermissions continued seven hours ; 
a canonade the whole day. Great merit is due to all the 
troops, as well militia as others. The enemy have taken 
some heights, formerly fortified by them, in front of Gen- 
eral Sullivan, about one mile from him. Whether they 
intend to attempt an annoyance of our troops from that 
situation, or that they will retreat, remains for time to 
open to us. 

I am., with great esteem & regard, gentlemen, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

Hon ble R. Sherman, T. Hosmer & And w Adams, Esq™. 


Philadelphia, Aug 1 31 st , 1778. 

Sir, — We were this day honored with your favor of 
the 25 th instant. M r Sherman is at present with the army 
on a committee to arrange the affairs in the battalions, 
and reduce them to the form prescribed in a plan lately 
adopted by Congress, which I presume your Excellency 

Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1778.] TITUS HOSMER. 20;* 


has bad laid before you. M r Adams and myself joined in 
a letter to your Excellency which went by Major Bigelow 
on Saturday last, since which nothing' hath happened to 
make a public letter necessary. 

I lament with you, Sir, the sickness and death of your 
son, and the distress and melancholy it hath occasioned 
to you, your family, and his near connections and friends, 
and am pleased to find Col Dyer hath undertaken his 
accounts and business. When he arrives, as M r Elsworth 
is to releive M r Adams it will naturally fall to me to give 
place to him ; I shall do it with pleasure, as I have 
informed him by this post. 

I wish I could with truth assure your Excellency that 
in my view our affairs are in a happy train, and that Con- 
gress has adopted wise and effectual measures to restore 
our wounded public credit and to establish the United 
States their liberty, union, and happiness upon a solid 
and permanent foundation. I dare not do it, while my 
heart is overwhelmed with the most melancholy pres- 
ages. The idleness and captiousness of some gentle- 
men, maugre the wishes and endeavours of an honest 
and industrious majority, in my apprehension, threaten 
the worst consequences. 

The Southern States are fixed against holding Congress 
more than once a day ; our hours are fixed from nine in 
the forenoon to two in the afternoon. If these were 
punctually attended it would be perhaps as much as 
could be spared from committees, other business which 
must be done out of Congress hours. Nine States make 
a Congress ; some States have delegates so very neffli- 
gent, so much immersed in the pursuit of pleasure or 
business, that it is very rare we can make a Congress 
before near eleven o'clock, and this evil seems incapable 
of a remedy as Congress hath no mean to compel gentle- 
men's attendance, and those who occasion the delay are 
callous to admonition and reproof, which have been often 


tried in vain. When we are assembled several gentle- 
men have sueh a knack at starting questions of order, 
raising debates upon critical, captious, and trilling amend- 
ments, protracting them by long speeches, by postponing, 
calling for the previous question, and other arts, that it is 
almost impossible to get an important question decided at 
one sitting ; and if it is put over to another day, the field 
is open to be gone over again, precious time is lost, and 
the public business left undone. 

I am sorry to add that the opposition between the 
States, and the old prejudices of North against South, 
and South against North, seem to be reviving, and are 
industriously heightened by some, who, I fear, would be 
but too well pleased to see our union blasted and our 
independence broken and destroyed. 

I wish what I have wrote may not seem too much like 
complaining of Congress ; but besides that, I am sure it is 
a just picture of our present situation. When I look back 
and see how little has been done since I came here, and 
consider how much there was to do, and the vast impor- 
tance that it should be done without loss of time, I feel 
myself under an obligation to account for my own con- 
duct among others, and can think of no better way to do 
it, than by telling the truth, which I do the more freely 
because I can appeal to every gentleman in Congress 
whether any blame lies upon Connecticut, whether she 
hath ever been an hour unrepresented, or whether any 
time hath been lost by the remissness or captiousness 
or longwindedness of her delegates ; besides, tho' while 
hopes of a speedy reform prevailed I thought it prudent 
to be silent, now those hopes have vanished 1 thought it 
best, and my duty, to state our real, though unhappy, sit- 
uation to your Excellency, that we might have the benefit 
of your wisdom and advice in concerting proper measures 
to retrieve us from the unhappy lethargy (shall I call it 
phrenzy?) into which we have fallen. 


Major Adams hath seen what I have wrote above, as far 
as it respects Congress and their mode of doing business, 
and permits me to fortify my narration with his concur- 
rent testimony. I have not taken the liberty to hint 
anything of the above to any friends, except to Col Dyer 
in a letter of this date, as I hope yet some measures may 
be fallen upon to remedy the evil, and it may not be so 
proper to throw out anything that may become public to 
lessen Congress in the general estimation, at a time when 
the British Commissioners are preparing to appeal from 
them to the people at large, and would be pleased to lay 
hold of anything winch might affect their character in 
the minds of their constituents, in hopes to derive an 
advantage from it. 

I have only to add my wishes and prayers for the pres- 
ervation of your Excellency's important life and the con- 
tinuance of your usefulness, and to subscribe myself, with 
the greatest respect, Sir, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant, 

Titus Hosmer. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Lebanon, 4 th Septem r , 1778. 

Sir, — A large fleet of British ships with troops on 
board appearing off, and taking their station near New 
London, has put this part of the country into alarm. 
Yesterday they passed the harbour in the morning from 
eastward ; about 2 o'clk. they put about and appeared 
opposite to, and made an appearance of coming into har- 
bour. At evening they anchored near the main shore, 
giving reason to suspect their design of landing in the 
night. This day they remain as last night, and having 
never attempted any landing, nor altered their station, 


their intentions arc yet unknown. Our militia are col- 
lecting, and numbers are arrived at New London. In 
this situation I find myself under a necessity to request 
from you a release of all the militia from this State in 
State of Eh ode Island under your command. Also if it 
be consistent with your intentions that you send into this 
State so many other troops as your circumstances and 
situation can afford. We have a rumour that the enemy 
are evacuating Newport. If this should be the case I am 
rather inclined to think that this circumstance added to 
some others indicate no unfavorable prospect. I shall 
depend on your furnishing me with all the assistance in 
your power. Expresses are gone to General Washington. 
1 am, with respect & esteem, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

Hon ble Maj r Gen 1 Sullivax. 


Philadelphia, 5 th SeptemV, 1778. 

Sir, — I wrote your Excellency some time past respect- 
ing the matter of Col Direks, &c., since which vre have 
been honored with your favor of the 25 th ult°, and can't 
but again lament your distresses occasioned by the sick- 
ness and death of the late Commissary General, and the 
melancholy of your mind in consequence of that event. 
I sincerely pray that under your present heavy and 
grievous affliction you may be comforted with the con- 
solations of God, which are neither few nor small, and 
that while you are deprived of such tender connections 
and dear enjoyments in life, you may at the same time 
rejoice in the God of your salvation. 

I am very glad to hear Col° Dver is coming on. not 

* Printed from the cop}' in Trumbull's Letter Pook. — Eds. 

1778.] ANDREW ADAMS. 2C9 

only on account of the late Commissary's 'affairs, but also 
of the public, and shall be happy to resign my seat in 
Congress to his superior abilities and experience, and 
especially at such a time as the present, when every 
effort of the greatest abilities is necessary to be exerted 
in behalf of the suffering public, for the manner of our 
conducting, or rather delaying business in Congress gives 
me the most sensible uneasiness. I should think it my 
duty to give your Excellency a particular account of our 
proceedings had not M r Hosmer done me the honor of 
presenting me his letter of the 31 st ult°, which had my 
full approbation, and which states that matter with such 
justice as to supercede the necessity of any observations 
from me upon the disagreeable subject, other than most 
sincerely to lament the disagreeable truths it contains. 
It is a most unwelcome consideration, and what fills my 
mind with the deepest anxiety and concern, that the con- 
duct of any of the members of Congress should be such 
as to create in my mind strong suspicions of their political 
and moral virtue. But these things lead me more and 
more to remove my confidence from man, and to comfort 
myself with that consideration that none of the wicked 
machinations of the deceitful and vile shall ever be able 
to defeat the kind instructions of the Deity. 

Yesterdaj' we began to meet twice a day, which is to 
continue till the first of November, — a measure this, 
extremely disagreeable to many members, but it has been 
long urged by the New England States. 

We have just received intelligence by General Sulli- 
van's letter of a battle fought at the north end of Rhode 
Island, in which our people kept the field, and that con- 
siderable numbers fell on both sides. We have no par- 
ticulars as yet. Nothing of consequence has occurred 
since M r Ilosmer wrdtej have only to add my sincere 
wishes that your extensive usefulness might be long con- 
tinued, and that you mirfit live to see the fruits of your 


arduous labours in the independence, freedom, and hap- 
piness of your country, and be finally admitted to the 
glorious rewards of the righteous. 
I am, with esteem, sincerity & regard, Your Excellency's 
Most obed fc & very hble. servant, 

And* Adams. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 


Coventry, Rhode Island, Septem r 14 th , 177S. 

Sir, — The growing extravagance of the people, and 
the encreasing demand for forrage for the use of the pub- 
lic, require the interposition of legislative authority to hx 
some limits to the price of articles taken for the use of 
the army. Without this it will be impossible to furnish 
money to answer the people's demands, or procure forrage 
sufficient to subsist the public cattle. If this evil is per- 
mitted to rage, it will soon become intolerable, providing 
the forrage is to be furnished by contract, because people 
will enlarge their prices as our wants grow more pressing. 
Two public injuries will result from the present state of 
things. One is, the public funds will be found unequal 
to the expence, and consequently it will sap the founda- 
tion of national defence. The other is, while the people 
withold their forrage in hopes of a larger price our cattle 
must inevitably starve. 

The regulating trade and commerce in general has 
been pretty fully proved to be impracticable, and per- 
haps if it could be effected it might not be found to an- 

* Xathanael Greene, one of the ablest gen^rah in the American army in the War of the 
Revolution, was bom in Warwick, R. I., June G, 1742, and died at Mulberry Grove, Georgia, 
June 19, 1730. He was appointed Quartermaster-General in March, 1778. See Appleton's 
Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. ii pp. 750-753; 2 Sp:irks's American Biography, 
vol. x: G. W. Greene's Life of Xathanael Greene.— Eds. 

f Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

1778.] SAMUEL ELIOT, JR. 271 

swer the great purposes of society go' well as that medium 
which is formed by the mutual wants of the buyer and 
seller. But a partial regulation, so far as respects the 
supply of the public I conceive to be absolutely neces- 
sary, and at the same time perfectly consistent with 
private right and the public welfare. 

Pensylvania and, I think, N. Jersey adopted a similar 
policy, and during the army's stay there we felt the happy 
effects of it. I submit the matter to your Excellency's 
consideration and that of your Council. I should be glad 
of your advice and direction as to the modes and means 
of supplying the army with forrage. 
I am, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's most obed*, hble. servant. 

Nath. Greene, Q. M. G. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Boston, 14 th Sept., 177S. 

IIon d Sir, — I have the pleasure of acquainting you 
of the arrival of the brig Medway at an out port ; she is 
in a dangerous situation. I have taken the advice of 
the principle persons with us, and have dispatch'd Capt 
Gorham to take charge of her, and take out such articles 
as may be valuable, and order the brig into Dartmouth, 
New London, or any other place of safety, but not untill 
he has made very perticular enquiry. This gentleman 
has always conducted my business to approbation. We 
hear of the Oliver Cromwell's arrival. I made a reserve 
of duck, cordage, & some paints, sheat lead & sundry 
other articles, not to be obtain' d with you ; they shall 
be did. whenever an order comes down. 

I want to write upon business; but my heart i^ too 
full. It has pleased a Sovereign God to take from us. 


our dear father!*' shall we weep for him? no, rather let 

us mourn that we have profited so little by his pious 
instructions. He lived beloved ; he died lamented ; his 
last moments, to use his oivn zvords, were his best moments. 
He was sensible to the last; the last he spoke, was " that 
gospell which I have preached enables me to meet the 
King of Terrors with calmness. I find death disannul of 
his sting, &e." He desir'd to be remember d to all his 
friends, and then fell asleep, without a sigh or a groan. 
I remain your dutifull servant, 

Sam. Eliot J h . 

Gov 1 Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 14 th Sept., 1778. Sam 1 Eliot, Jun r , Esq r , de arrival of the 
Brig Medway. Prize. Duck & Rigging for O. Cromwell. Death of Doc* 
Eliot. Kec d 19 th ins 1 . 


(Publick Service) His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Lebanon 

in Connecticut. Fav d by Caj) Hyde, who is desh J d to forward it 

£ Post from Providence. 

Bostox, 2 d Oct r , 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — I have receiv'd a letter from Tho s Fan- 
ning, Esq r , at Norwich, inclosing a vote of Council, for 
having the stores belonging to the State sent forward for 
the use of the Oliver Cromwell. Agreeable thereto I 
sent all the cordage & duck, and one roll sheet lead, and 
sundry useful small stores. I have waited on the navy 
board, and shall be able to negotiate an exchange of 
bread for all that is merchantable. I am sorry to say a 
great part is damag'd ; the brig Medway took in a vast 
quantity of water in the hurricane. As soon as I have 
accomplishd the exchange I will duly notify M r Fanning. 
I beg leave to mention, that at present I believe I could 
exchange the 45 bis. beef & 22 bis. pork, now remaining 

* Rev. Andrew Eliot, D.D., minister of the New North Church, Boston, died Sept. 
13, 1778, the day befl-re this letter was written. — Eds. 



in my hands, for a like quantity, of equal goodness, in 
Connecticut: this, if the State have not got a quantity 
in store, wou'd be much the safest method, and would 
save the State a great expence. 

It is with great pleasure I am able to inform your Ex- 
cellency, that the Kepple & Cyrus prizes turn out so 
well as not only to pay the moneys advanc'd for the 
Defence and Cromwell, but that I shall be able to remit 
a very large sum to the State. I am at a loss in what 
manner to remit the money, shou'd the Council draw on 
me I must desire the bills may be at 6 or 10 days sight ; 
the cash I have by me and the sum due on the 10 th will 
make up £5.000, which I should be glad to remit; as fast 
as the money comes into my hands, I will give due notice, 
unless it will be more agreeable that I should take drafts 
here on Connecticut, Philadelphia, or else where. 

I am your dutiful ser*, 

Gov 1 Trumbull. SAM. ELIOT, J e . 

Indorsed : Oct 2 nd , 177S. Sam 1 Elliot, de vote of the Gov r & Council of 
Safety sent him, has complied therewith, &c. 


Lebanon, 5 th Oct", 1778. 

Dear Sir, — With great sincerity and satisfaction I 
beg leave to congratulate your Excellency on the happy 
escape from danger of your son in the late attempt on 
Rhode Island, and on the honor he has very justly ob- 
tained from the share he bore in the events of that 
expedition, particularly in the memorable battle fought 
on that island. 

With much gratitude to the disposer of events I also 
acknowledge the safety of my youngest son, who volun- 
tarily, and without my approbation, shared the like 
dangers in the same expedition. 



I have none of your private favors to acknowledge, 
though I have had my expectations. Sutler me to ask 
your particular influence on the subject of my represen- 
tation to Congress. An unnoticed representation of like 
nature from my son was very grievous to him : it could 
not be pi 'easing to me. I hope this will not meet the like 
delay. Were it not that your own good sense will dic- 
tate to you, and your goodness will prompt you to make 
use of many considerations on this head, I could suggest 
a thousand things which might be said on the score of 
that justice which I have fondly thought was due to the 
merits of my son. who, I think, has deserved honorably 
of the public for his public services, notwithstanding all 
the hard treatment which he experienced. The same 
justice which was his due while alive is now due to his 
relict and heirs. Your influence in this determination 
will be peculiarly grateful to me. 

With much consideration, respect, and esteem, I am, 
Your Excellency's most humble servant, 

Jox TH Trumbull. 

M r President Laurens. 


Lebanon, 5 th Oct , 1778. 

Sir, — By the same conveyance with this is gone my 
representation and letter to the President and Congress 
respecting the concerns of my deceased son as late Com- 
missary General; the purport you will see from the ap- 
plication to Congress. I think it reasonable that justice 
should be done the relict and heirs of the deceased upon 
the same principles of at least equal generosity and liber- 
ality as are allowed to the present commissaries of pur- 
chases and issues, whose task, by the path having been in 
great measure traced, explored, and ascertained by the 


first Commissary General, has by that means become in a 
manner easy and familiar to them, through the care, the 
labour, the attention, industry, and application of him 
who may perhaps be said to have lost his life in the 
arduous pursuit. 

I must beg your attention to this object that it may be 
speedily determined. It was always grievous to my son 
that Congress were never pleased to take up the matter 
on his own representation. I trust it will not now be 
longer delayed, as further delay may prove peculiarly 
detrimental to the settlement of his accounts and his es- 
tate, which will be easiest effected by early attention. 

By letter of 29 th August from Mess rs Adams and Hos- 
mer I am informed that Congress are employed on the 
subject of finances and the organizing a board of trea- 
sury. These are great and weighty objects, and need 
the fullest consideration. I wish they may be as early 
determined as their great importance and the deepest con- 
sideration will permit. Many and weighty are the mat- 
ters which press still for consideration. I wish, however, 
that it did not seem that some essential things appear to 
be protracted to a greater length than either their nature, 
the importance of the objects, the necessary time for 
consideration, or the public expectation would deem 
necessary. I would fondly hope that no time is lost 
which might be employed in precious deliberation, that 
no unnecessary, unmeasurable, or untoward circumstances 
conspire to create delays. Our situation, although the 
dawn of happier days seems to lighten upon us, is yet in 
my apprehension very critical. Many great and serious 
points remain to be settled. I would hope no leaven of 
uneasiness between States, disunion, or opposition of 
North to South, or South to North, is creeping into 
Congress to prevent the completion, the speedy comple- 
tion, of those matters which are of essential moment to 
the duration of our union and uninterrupted happiness. 


In all your deliberations I hope it may be a fixed princi- 
ple that virtue alone can be the foundation, that virtue 
alone can be the support of any government. 

I am, with esteem & respect, gentlemen, 

Your most humble servant. 

Hon We Delegates from Connecticut. JON™ TRUMBULL. 


Lebanon, Oct 5 th , 1778. 

Sir, — The late heavy loss of my eldest son, the late 
Commissary General, by death, has not only devolved 
upon me much grief and sorrow, but will unavoidably 
plunge me into a concern for settlement of his public 
accounts, thereby to introduce a settlement of his private 
estate. As one step towards effecting this I have sent 
the President a letter containing a representation to 
Congress from me respecting the public concern of the 
deceased. For the purport thereof I beg leave to refer 
you to the President's communication to Congress. At 
the same time I take the liberty to beg your particular 
influence in the matter, that it may be brought to a 
speedy determination, without that tedious delay which 
my son thought he had great reason to complain of, from 
his own representation to Congress, which was a long 
time before his death presented to Congress, and which 
seemed not to be noticed by them. Justice was certainly 
due to him ; the same is now due to his relict and heirs. 
I want only justice to take place, and that I think is not 
hard to be ascertained, when a comparison is made 
between his services for the public in an early period 

* Born in Boston Sept. 27, 1722, graduated at Harvard College in 1740, and died in 
Boston Oct. 2, 1803. He was a delegate in Congress from Massachusetts from 1774 to 
1782 His life, character, and public services are too well known to need other mention 
here. — Eds. 


before the business was reduced to any settled plan, and 
the duty of the present Commissaries General of pur- 
chases and issues whose path may be now said to be by 
his labour, toil, and assiduity made easy and familiar. 

I forbear to suggest many thoughts which your own 
good sense will readily dictate. I will only add that his 
public accounts and private concerns need speedy atten- 
tion, which cannot be closed without the intervention of 
Congress in such matters as are set forth, in my represen- 
tation. The earlier these are taken up, the easier they 
may be finished. 

May I ask you, Sir, to communicate this to M r Gary 
[Gerry], M r Marchant, and such other members as you 
think proper, and to beg their influence for a speech' ter- 
mination of the subject of my representation. I have 
wrote particularly to M r Lovell. 

With much consideration and regard, I am, Sir, 

Your most hble. servant. 

Hon ble Sam 1 - Adams, Esq'. JON TH TRUMBULL. 


Lebanon, 5 th Oct , 1778. 

Dear Sir, — By Messenger Brown I have sent a letter 
to the President, containing a representation from me, in 
behalf of the public and for his relict and heirs, upon 
the subject of the concerns of my son, the late Commis- 
sary General. 

The long acquaintance, the intimacy, the affection 
which subsisted between the deceased and you, induce 
me to apply for your particular influence in this case. 
The subject of the representation you will obtain from 
the President's communication to Congress. The delay 
of Congress to do him such justice as he apprehended was 
his due, and upon his own representation to Congress, 

278 THE TltlLViBULL PAPERS. [1778. 

which was presented a long while before his death, and 
which seemed never to gain their notice or attention, 
was peculiarly grievous to him. This with other treat- 
ment he met with from the public, without either thanks, 
pa}', or reward for his arduous services prej^ed hard upon 
his mind, and in a great measure encreased (if they may 
not be said to have produced) the disorders of body which 
terminated his life. The same justice is now due to his 
relict and heirs as was his due during life. I wish it may 
not be longer delayed than the nature of the subject and 
its full consideration require. 

In m} r opinion justice is due to the late Commissary 
General upon at least as liberal and generous terms as 
have been allowed to the present Commissaries Generals 
of purchases and issues. Have not his labors, care, in- 
dustry, and attention to a business which w T as new, the 
track of which, dark and untrodden before in this country, 
may be said to have been explored and investigated by 
him, been the means of rendering their dutv in a man- 
ner easy and familiar to them, compared with what it 
must have been to one who had to practise upon the first 
stages of an unknown and indigested plan ? Is it rea- 
son able that others should reap the fruit of his labour 
and toils while his services must be unrewarded and for- 
gotten ? These considerations were grievous to him : I 
cannot say they are pleasing to me. I need not multiply 
words to you on the subject. Your own good sense, 
without any predilection in favor of my son, will suggest 
a thousand thoughts to your mind ; and I doubt not 
your attention to the subject. A line from you, after rep- 
resentation made to Congress, with their sense thereon, 
will be very agreeable. 

I am, with much respect & regard, d r Sir, 

Your most hble. servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

James Lovell, Esq r , in Congress. 



Lebanon, 6 th Oct/-, 1778. 

Sir, — Your two letters of the 5 th and 13 th of Septem- 
ber, with the enclosures, are duly received. In mine of 
the 25 th August mention was made of the death of my 
son, the late Commissary General, and my purpose to have 
Colonel Dyer come to Congress, and by him to send my 
memorial relative to my son's affairs during his services 
as Commissar} 7 , and allowances since his resignation to 
him, to his clerks and others employed in the public 
service. The sickness and circumstances of Col Dyer's 
family hath detained him beyond our expectation. 

I do now make the following memorial and representa- 
tion for the benefit of the public, of the relict and heirs 
of my deceased son, to the Honorable Congress, which 
sheweth : 

That my eldest son, Joseph Trumbull, very early after 
the battle at Lexington went into the service of the 
State of Connecticut, as commissary of provisions for its 
troops ; 

That Congress, on the 19 th July, 1775, resolved "That 
Joseph Trumbull be Commissary General of stores and 
provisions for the army of the United States." 

That he entered into this business; he had to traverse 
a new and untrodden way ; great care and diligence was 
necessary for the public and his own security to form and 
regulate his proceednre. He emplo} 7 ed M r William Hos- 
kins to be his clerk, a gentleman of ability and integrity, 
well acquainted with regular accounts of such sort : he 
continued in his employment from first to last, is best 
acquainted with his accounts and transactions of any 
person now living ; 

That through constant fatigue and attendance with the 
army in the month of October, 1775, he, the Commissary 


General, found himself unwell, retired io my family ; his 
disorder proved a dyssentery, the common distemper of 
an army; his life in great danger, almost despaired of; 
hy the blessing of Heaven he recovered ; by his previous 
care the army was well supplied before and during his 
absence. Early, after his recovery, he returned ; with 
unremitted care and industry he made ample provision 
for the army when before Boston ; when it marched to 
New York he went forward, steadily attending and fulfil- 
ling the duties of his department ; 

That he transacted as commissary of purchases, of 
issues, and of supplies for the hospital. He made from 
time to time great and advantageous purchases by him- 
self, and also employed suitable persons for the public 
service, who have large accounts open, which have not 
been closed for want of the ballances due to them from 
the public ; 

That the business of his department by experience 
became familiar, put on a good aspect; notwithstanding 
the great and unavoidable losses of provisions and stores 
from various causes, he never failed making regular and 
competent supplies ; 

That your memorialist is informed that the Commissary 
General laid his memorial before Congress, and prayed 
for a suitable consideration and reward for his services 
and for those in public employment in that department, 
on which nothing' hitherto is granted ; 

That he continued in service imtill the new regulations 
Congress see [saw ?] fit to make by the resolves of the 
10 th and 16 th June, 1777, took place. On these he re- 
monstrated ; he notified the impracticability of those reg- 
ulations ; he mentioned what alterations after so long 
experience he judged necessary to be made ; he expected 
to meet encouragements rather than discouragements. 
He recalled the dangers and necessary consequences to 
the army, and although he was offered to be Commissary 


General of Purchases he declined, he resigned the whole. 
These things were too grievous to him ; they preyed on 
his constitution, impaired his health to such a (I^^vqq that 
after a long and distressing bodily indisposition, with fre- 
quent relapses, he departed this life on the 23 day of July 
last, to the great grief of his parents, of his relict, of his 
relations, and of his friends. 

It is further to be observed, that after his resignation 
he delivered over very large quantities of salt and of 
other stores and provisions to the great benefit of the 
army. In this he met great difficulty and vexation ; 

That his clerk, M r Hoskins, hath been employed in 
settlements untill the time of his death, and hath re- 
ceived no consideration or reward therefor since the 30 th 
of June, 1776. 

I beg leave to mention relative to his accounts, that in. 
his last account ever}' one is sensible of the risque in re- 
ceiving and paying money, which gave rise to a Commis- 
sion, even when not attended with the hurry and tumult 
that necessarily happens in a situation like his ; 

That in the accounts of purchases and supplies the 
irregularity in the first stages will call for consideration 
and relaxation of the strictness afterwards required. Here 
the Commissary's personal knowledge is lost ; 

That the accounts of issues will be length v and tedious. 
Losses from the enemy, from the hurry and confusion that 
often happened, and various other unavoidable causes 
will render it impossible to be fully ascertained. 

I am little apt and always unwilling to speak advanta- 
geously of myself or my children ; but as after all some 
justice is due to one's self and to them, as well as to 
others, I beg leave to represent that the attachment of 
myself, of this son of mine, and my whole family, to the 
American cause and independency was always unshaken, 
our endeavours to promote the same unwearied. That his 
principles were honest and honorable, his doings in his 


department to the satisfaction of the General, of the 
officers, and of the army. That he had, and his relict 
and heirs have, a common claim to a just and reasonable 
reward for his services. 

It is presumed that the grants and allowances lately 
made to the present Commissaries General of purchases 
and issues may he as reasonable for him, together with 
reasonable allowances for extra services ; and that a rule 
be fixed for the reward of such as served the public in his 
department during this time. 

In expectation of the readiness of the Hon ble Congress 
to take tills whole matter into their wise consideration 
and to pass such resolutions and grants thereon, that jus- 
tice may be done to the widow and heirs of the deceased 
and to all the concerned, I am ; with esteem & sincerity, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

Jox TH Trumbull. 

P. S. Enclosed is M r Hoskins' petition. Sunday morn- 
ing last I received your favor of the 26 th Septem r ult°, with 
its enclosures p r Capt. Harding. 

President Laurens. 


Lebanon, 6 th Oct , 1778. 

Sir, — I duly received your favor of the 20 th August 
nlt°, and have to acknowledge the receipt of two of your 
favors from abroad. Once when I was at Hartford your 
brother mentioned an opportunity for sending an answer ; 
my engagements at that time prevented ; at others not 
knowing an opportunity, and persuaded every intelli- 
gence I could give you possessed of from abler hands, I 
omitted it. 

I thank you for the kind and compassionate notice you 
take of the death of my son — an event truly affecting 


and grievous. My duty is self-denial, patience, resigna- 
tion, and bumble submission to tbe will of Heaven. He 
was a dutiful and pleasant son, a generous and open friend, 
a sincere defender of tbe American cause, exerted bis 
utmost abilities in tbe department alloted bim. His was 
a new and original undertaking amongst us. Tbe treat- 
ment be met, without thanks or reward for more than 
two years indefatigable labours and risque, grieved him 
to tbe heart, brought on and encreased his bodily disor- 
ders, preyed on bis constitution, exhausted bis spirits, 
wore them out, and finished bis days. Mine are nearly 
terminated ; may afflictions wean me from a fondness for 
life, and quicken my preparations for an exchange of 
worlds. Tbe curtain is thin, yet perfectly dark, save 
what is revealed by the Word. We live by faith, and 
not by sight. We arc in. the latter end of the last days. 
Tbe marvellous events of Providence seem to open to 
our view a rising empire in this western world, to enlarge 
our Redeemer's kingdom and to pull down the Papacy. 
Another, the Russian, is rising in the north quarters to 
subdue tbe Ottoman, to dry up the waters of the River 
Euphrates, to prepare tbe way for the kings of the east. 

A commonwealth is the most rational and equitable 
form of government ; it grows and flourishes where virtue 
is the object ; it decays and sinks where luxury, the source 
of corruption, prevails and encreaseth. 

May these States become free and independent, union 
and harmony be established, virtue encouraged and main- 
tained, and peace restored and confirmed with all the 

You seem to neglect Connecticut ; I hope not her 
interests. I acknowledge your kind offer of a corre- 
spondence and readiness to execute orders from this State, 
from me or my friends. 

I am, with regard & consideration, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 

Silas Dean, Esq'. Jqx™ TfiUMBULL. 



. Philadelphia, Oct° 6, 1778. 

Sir, — I have been absent about six weeks on the 
business of arranging the array, which, so far as it is 
accomplished, has occasioned less dissatisfaction than 1 
feared it would. Some good officers are excluded for 
want of room which are recommended to Congress for 
such notice and provision as shall be thought reasonable. 
Major Wells did not apply untill the arrangement of the 
Connecticut officers was made, so that he could not be 
admitted. It is customary in other States not to fill the 
places of officers in captivity, but to promote them accord- 
ing to their rank as if present. I shall take the first 
opportunity to transmit to your Excellency a copy of the 
arrangement of the Connecticut officers. 

I returned here last Wednesday evening, and Maj r 
Adams being unwell set out to go home last Saturday. 
Col Dyer and M r Elsworth are not yet arrived ; I hope 
they are on their way, for it is of importance to have a 
full representation. Business goes on slow. The impor- 
tant matters of the currency, cloathing department, and 
treasury arrangement are not yet finished, though believe 
the last is compleated, except appointing the officers. 
Cloathing the army will doubtless be referred to the par- 
ticular States to supply their own troops. The Continental 
cloathing on hand, and what may hereafter arrive, will be 
distributed in some just proportion. 

There is a report lately made on the subject of finance, 
not acted upon, which I think will not be an adequate 
remedy for the evils. I think a reasonable time ought to 
be fixed for sinking all the outstanding bills, and sufficient 
funds by annual taxes provided for bringing them in. 
That would fix their credit by letting the possessors know 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Ens. 

1778.] ROGER SHERMAN, 285 

when and how the} 7 are to be redeemed, and would in 
some good measure do justice to the public, as the bills 
would be collected in at about the same value they were 
issued out. The first part of the time the people would 
obtain them at a cheap rate to pay their taxes, and they 
would gradually appreciate till restored to their original 
value. But some provision ought to be immediately 
made for doing justice to creditors in payment of old 
debts and salaries stated in lawful money. The law mak- 
ing the bills a tender when the same nominal sum was of 
equal value to lawful money was reasonable and neces- 
sary, but now is become the source of great injustice. I 
think lawful money should be the standard, but an equiv- 
alent in bills should be accepted in payment. The com- 
mittee of commerce do make a discount in payment of 
sterling debts. I hope public faith will be inviolably ob- 
served in the redemption of the bills at their full value, at 
the period fixed for that purpose, but that will not pre- 
vent their depreciation in currency in the mean time 
while so great a quantity is in circulation. 

We received accounts yesterday that a number of the 
enemy's ships were seen standing in toward Egg Harbour, 
supposed with intent to destroy the shipping and stores 
there. Some Continental troops and New Jersey militia 
are sent to oppose them. What their intentions are 
concerning leaving this country we can't yet learn. 
Congress have thought it necessary to continue the 
embargo on provisions to the last of January next. 
Our friends at the eastward, especially at Rhode Island, 
think it hard that they are deprived of getting provisions 
from Connecticut by the land embargo. 
I am, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's hble. servant, 

Rqger Siiermax. 

His Excellency Gov Tjlumeull. 



New York, 7 th October. 1778, 

Sir, — I have a real satisfaction in transmitting to you 
several printed copies of the King's Commissioners' 
Manifesto and Proclamation. Conscious of the spirit it 
breathes of peace, happiness and liberty, to the whole 
empire, I can boldly request the favor of 3 r ou to make it 
public through your Province and the Eastern Colonies. 
I am, Sir, 

Your very obed* Serv*, 

Governor Trumbull. \y« TrYOX Gov r . 

Indorsed: 7 th Oct , 1778. Maj r General Tryon, signed Gov. De Co- 
miss rs Offers breathing Peace, Happiness & Liberty, rec d at Lebanon with 
Manifesto & Proclamation, 15 th ins 1 . 


New-Haven, 12 th October, 1778. 

Sir, — Your letter of the 7 th instant, with its in- 
closures, is received. 

With great propriety, the Hon ble British Coniissioners 
did address the offers they were coiliissioned to make to 
the Congress of the United States of America, who are 
furnished with compleat authority, and from whom 
comunications are duly made to the respective States. 

Is it not therefore really unbecoming the dignity of 
the King and the State those Honorable Coinissioners 
represent, for them to seek the objects they were co- 
missioned to pursue, by fomenting popular divisions, 
and partial caballs ? 

I am, Sir, 

Your obedient, hfole. servant. 

Hpn. ble Maj r General Tryon. JoN T1T TRUMBULL. 

* Governor Trumbull kept two copies, in his own handwriting, of this letter, and wrote 
in the margin of one of them against the last paragraph : " Quere, whether this paragraph 
be emitted." — Eds. 



The lIoii A ' Jon a Trumbull, Es<f, Gov r of the Colony of Connecticut. 

May it please your Excellency, — It is well known 
that I have ever been firmly attach'd to Government, & 
that not from any party spirit but upon principle, that I 
have served, & still continue to serve Government con- 
scientiously, wishing nothing more than a reasonable 
subjection of my countrymen to their rightfull sovereign, 
without the least tincture of hatred, malice, or desire of 
revenge of any personal affront or injury; presuming 
your Excellency hath no doubts of the above facts from 
my known charecter, I earnstly beg that you give a per- 
mit to my family, male & female, immediately to imbark 
in the vessel they may procure for that purpose, with 
their wearing apparel, bed, bedding, house furniture & 
servants, & a milk cow, if they have any, that they may 
come & live within the King's lines, that if my honoured 
mother shall chuse to stay where she is, that you will 
permit her so to do, & keep such part of our stuff & ser- 
vants as she shall incline, & let M rs Punderson with her 
children come with the residue. If you shall think my 
request of furniture, &c, unreasonable, you will give 
them a permit to bring such things as 3-011 shall think 
proper. Not doubting of your willingness to do every 
thing I can wish that shall be consistant with your station, 
I beg leave to subscribe myself, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

Ebenezer Punderson. 

Newport, 14 th October, 1778. 

Indorsed: Oct. 14 th , 1778. Eben r Punderson, requesting that liberty 
may be granted his wife & family to remove within the enemy's lines. 

* Ebenezer Punderson was born in Groton, Conn., graduated at Yale College in 1755. 
and died at Preston, at an advanced age, in 3 809. He is designated by Sabine as a physi- 
cian, and by Miss Caulkins as a school teacher, and was a sturdy Loyalist. See Sal 
American Loyalists, vol. ii. pp; 202. 203; Caulkins's History of Norwich, pp. 370, 371: 
Dexter'a Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp.375, 376. — Eds. 



To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r . To be communicated 
to the Hon hlc the Gen 1 Assembly. 

To the honorable the General Assembly of the State of 
Connecticut now sitting at New Haven. The memorial 
of the Association of the County of Windham humbly 

That whereas the decision of all controversies & every 
event in the universe depends on the divine interposition, 
& it is most reasonable that intelligent beings pay a 
suitable & supreme regard to the Deity in all things. 
And taking into our most serious consideration the im- 
portance of the present glorious efforts of the United 
States of America, & of this State in particular, to secure 
& maintain our invaluable rights & liberties, in opposition 
to that tyrannical & bloody power that is most inhumanly 
exerting itself to deprive us of them. Realizing at the 
same time, that we have made our appeal to a Being of 
infinite righteousness, the God of Armies, on whose favor 
and blessing alone all our success is absolutely depend- 
ent. Impressed likewise with a melancholly conviction 
of that impious disregard to the most high God, so awfully 
apparent in our camps, where divine instruction & pub- 
lic prayers are much neglected, & the name of the 
Deity seldom mentioned, except in a way of levity & 

Your Memorialists therefore think it their dutv, in the 
character they sustain, humbly to request your Honors, 

* Rev. Josiah Whitney was born in Plainfield, Conn., August 11, 1731, graduated at 
Yale College in 1752, and settled as a minister in that part of Pomfret, Conn., now the 
town of Brooklyn, in 17">6\ There he remained until his death Oct. 20, 1824. ,l His pas- 
torate of over 68 years had been the longest known in the annals of the Congregational 
Churches of Connecticut, down to that date." From Sept., 17S7, to Sept., iSiO, he was a 
member of the Corporation of Yale College. See Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Gradu- 
ates of Yale College, vol. ii. pp. 207-300. — Eds. 

1778.] J0S1AII WHITNEY. 280 

to make some further provision than has already been 
made, to oppose the threatening torrent of these growing 
evils. Particularly with regard to the militia of this 
State, many of which have been k may yet be frequently 
called to take the field against the common enemy. 

We humbly request of your Honors to provide, as in 
your wisdom shall appear best, that such of our brethren 
and fellow citizens, as have been or may be thus detached, 
may not be destitute of the most able instructors in right- 
eousness, who may faithfully "teach them the manner of 
the God of our fathers" k lead them daily in those duties 
of social k public worship which are so fit & reasonable 
for a people called after his sacred name. 

Also that those of our order, who are or may be called 
to attend their brethren, in this most important work, 
may be placed in such circumstances by your Honors as 
may capacitate them, in the best manner, to suppress 
that abounding wickedness k profaneness in the camps, 
which more threatens our ruin than all the powers of 
earth, if combined against us, might do. 

We humbly apprehend that nothing of greater im- 
portance than what we now allude to, can claim the 
attention of the civil guardians of liberty k virtue. There- 
fore hope k expect, from the wisdom k piety of our 
honorable General Assembly, that effectual measures will 
be concerted, reletive to the premises. 

And thus your memorialists shall ever pray. 

Signed in the name & by the order of the Association. 

Josiaii WniTNEY, Scribe. 

Dated at Mansfield, Oct r 14 th , 1778. 

Indorsed : 14 Oct°, 1778. Rev d Association of Ministers of the Gospel 
in Windham County to encourage Religion and discountenance Vice. That 
chaplains be appointed to our Militia when in Camp, &c. Kec d 20 ius* 




Philadelphia, Oct 15 th , 1778. 

Sip., — We were honored with your Excellency's letter 
of the 5 th instant. Your letter to Congress and the me- 
morial accompanying it are referred to Mess" R. H. Lee, 
Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlet, and Oliver Elsworth, who 
have not yet made report ; hope such determination will 
be made thereon as will be reasonable and satisfactory? of 
which we will give your Excellency the earliest notice by 
the post The affair of finance is yet unfinished ; the 
Arrangement of the board of treasury is determined on, 
but the officers are not yet appointed. To-morrow is 
assigned for their nomination. The members of Con- 
gress are united in the great object of securing the liber- 
ties and independence of the States, but are sometimes 
divided in opinion about particular measures. 

The Assembly of New Jersey in their late session did 
not ratify the Confederation; nor has it been clone by 
Maryland and Delaware States. These and some other 
of the States are dissatisfied that the western imgranted 
lands should be claimed by particular States, which, they 
think, ought to be the common interest of the United 
States, they being defended at the common expense. 
They further sa} r that if some provision is not now made 
for securing lands for the troops who serve during the 

* Oliver Ellsworth was bom in Windsor, Conn., April 23, 1745, graduated at Princeton 
College in 17GB, and died in his native town Nov. 26, 1807. lie was one of the ablest and 
most distinguished men that Connecticut has given to the service of the country. From 
1777 to 1784 he was a delegate to the Continental Congress. In ] 787 he was one of the most 
influential members of the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution. From 1789 
to 1795 he was a member of the United States Senate. From 1790' to 1799 he was Chief 
Justice of the United States. In 1800 he was one of the Commissioners sent to Paris by 
President Adams to negotiate a treaty with France. See Lanman's Biographical Annals, 
pp. 136, 487; Appleton's Cycloj asdiapf American Biography, vol. ii. pp. 335, 336 j Flauders's 
Lives of th". Chief Justices, vol. ii. pp. 55-276. — • Eds. 

f Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book, where the name is spelled Elsworth. 
— Ll>j. 

1778.] SILAS DLANE. 201 

war. they, shall have to pay large sums to the States who 
claim the vacant lands to supply their quota of the 

Perhaps the Assembly of Connecticut should resolve to 
make grants to their own troops, and those raised by the 
States of Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, and Mary- 
land, in the lands south of Lake Erie and west of the lands 
in controversy with Pensylvania, free of any purchase 
money or quit-rents to the government of Connecticut. 
It might be satisfactory to those States and be no dam- 
age to the State of Connecticut. A tract of thirty miles 
east and west across the State would be sufficient for the 
purpose, and being settled under good regulations would 
enhance the value of the rest. These could not be claimed 
as crown lands, both the fee and jurisdiction having been 
granted to the Governor and Company of Connecticut. 

We are, Sir, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient and 

most humble servants, 

Roger Shermax. 
Oliver Elswortii. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 


Philadelphia, Oct 20 th , 1778. 

Sir, — I received your favor of the 6 th instant. The 
improvement you make of losses and misfortunes is such 
as true piety will ever dictate and reason approve. The 
treatment your son met with must have been affecting to 
you as well as to him. I feel for you in that situation. 
and the more forcibly from having at this instant similar 
attempts made to treat me in a still more unworthy and 
ungrateful manner. Conscious of the integrity of my con- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


duct and of the disinterested and unremitted zeal with 
which I laboured for my country, and a becoming sense 
of the important services I have rendered these States, I 
support myself calmly against the cabals of a junto of 
men who are most assiduously laborious to injure me. I 
have now waited three months for an audience, and to 
learn why the Congress superceded and recalled me ; 
sorry I am to inform you I have waited in vain, having 
only had two opportunities of speaking to Congress. The 
last was in August, now two months since. These delavs 
are not only injurious to my interest as well as to the 
public, they are mortifying and dishonorable. The desire 
I have to serve my country has prevented my leaving 
not only Congress but the continent before this. My 
patience exhausted, I wait only for the arrival of my 
carriage and horses, when after visiting- a few friends I 
.shall go for Europe, to settle the affairs I have been con- 
cerned in, public as well as private, after which I shall 
retire to have leisure to attend to one of the chief of 
duties, and of pleasures, in life, the education of my son, 
and the enjoyment of the society of a few friends. 

It hurts me, Sir, to have you think I neglect Connecti- 
cut. I shall never forget or neglect my native State ; I 
have ever had even a partiality in favor of the New Eng- 
land States, and Connecticut in particular. It has like 
every government and character in the world its foibles, 
and which no freeman ought to be witheld from animad- 
verting upon, if done in proper time and manner. I will 
confess to you I was hurt at the manner in which 1 was 
dismissed from being a Delegate, but at the same time 
assure you I never harboured a disgustful or rancourous 
thought on the occasion. I adopted the advice of the 
poet, and have most religiously lived up to it ever 
since, having been 

".To its faults a little blind, 
And to its virtues very kind," 

1778.] SILAS DEAXE. 2 ( ,)\\ 

so much so that I have very often been rallied by the 
French Ministry:, by his Excellency Mons r Gerard in par- 
ticular, as a perfect enthusiast, when I spoke to them of 
the spirit, firmness, and perseverance of my countrymen 
in New England, especially in Connecticut. I designed 
after the treaty was executed to have settled my affairs 
as soon as possible, and retired from all future connec- 
tions with public concerns. I thought that the treaty 
executed, I was entitled as of right to some repose ; full 
of this resolution I was surprised with an order from Con- 
gress for my immediate recall, and that I should lose no 
time in returning, to give them an account of the state of 
affairs in Europe. I had never received, from my leav- 
ing America (which was two }-ears before) the least inti- 
mation that any part of my conduct had been disagreeable 
to Congress, and though nothing was directly intimated in 
this letter or order, yet the very recall was an implied disap- 
probation. I found all my friends shocked and surprised 
at this resolution of Congress. The Court was alarmed, 
apprehending that this proceeding of Congress might 
arise from the disapprobation of the part I had acted ; 
and the part I had acted was too well known and 
approved of by them not to cause very disagreeable in- 
ferences from this apparent disposition of Congress. Con- 
scious that I had more than once before not only releived, 
but, I may say without vanity, saved my country, that the 
treaty had been brought forward and expedited, princi- 
pally at least by my exertions, and from the confidence 
which the Court of France had at all times reposed in 
me, I resolved instead of giving way to those feelimrs 
which such treatment must naturally gave rise and force 
to, I set myself to take advantage of the occurrence for 
rendering the United States the most essential and great- 
est possible service. I applied to the Ministers, ami ob- 
tained the declaration of the treaty to be made to the 
Court of London, and the Toulon ileet to be sent out to 

29 i THE TKUMBULL PAPERS. [17 78. 

America. That these great events were brought about 
bv mv sole negotiation is a fact well known in France. 
Our design was to have taken Lord Howe's whole fleet in 
the Delaware, and of course the army must have fell, and 
the war might, perhaps, have been finished at a blow. 
To execute this the fleet sailed the beginning of April, 
and of course I was obliged to set out (as I had previously 
promised to accompany Mons r Gerard) without being able 
to make any settlement of my affairs, for the strictest 
secrecy being enjoined, I came away as if making a jour- 
ney into the country. Unfortunately the fleet arrived 
seven days after Lord Howe had left the river, which 
circumstance prevented the whole force oi our enemy 
falling into our hands : what has happened since in that 
line you are well acquainted with. I repaired immediately 
to Congress in company with. Mons r Gerard, the French 
minister, who had long been my intimate friend, and who 
on the part of his Court had been intrusted with the 
negotiation. I waited more than a month before I was 
permitted to speak to Congress. I then delivered letters, 
of which I enclose copies,* and gave them a general ac- 
count of my conduct abroad, I was heard twice, after 
which, without their coming to any resolutions, I have 
met with the most mortifying, I may add, distressing 
delays. To my repeated applications to be heard, they 
have scarcely condescended even to make one word of 
reply. This conduct has at last forced me to resolve, tho' 
with y e utmost reluctance, to appeal to my countrymen 
at large from those whose delay of justice is more fatal 
than a denial. Sensible of the truly alarming situation 
of our public affairs, I am extremely averse to lay my 

* following the copy of this letter in Governor Trumbull's Letter Book are. a copy of a 
letter in Trench from the Comte de Vergennes to the President of Congress, dated March 25, 
1778, with a translation ; copy df a letter in French from Vergennes to Mr. Deane, dated 
March 20, 1773, also with a translation; and a letter from Dr. Frauklin to the President of 
i jess. These letters are printed in the Collections of the New York Historical Society 
for 1887, pp. iVr-iZG, 445. — Piks. 

1778. ] SILAS DEANE. 295 

complaints before the world ; yet justice to myself will 
at least force me to lay before my countrymen an account 
of my services abroad, of the services I rendered thorn, of 
the estimation I was held in, and the reputation 1 enjoyed 
in France, after which the)* will be able to judge what I 
am, or am not, entitled to. I can but feel for the danger- 
ous situation these States are in, from the dilatory, inde- 
cisive manner of doing the great business of the public, 
and the deranged state of our finances, hourly approach- 
ing a crisis, ruinous and disgraceful to public as well as 
private character and fortune, from the increase of our 
paper and the consequent rise of every necessary for the 
support of the war. No man has a higher veneration for 
the Congress of these United States than 1 have ; no one 
has done more towards securing their independence than 
I have done ; surely I am entitled to speak freely ; it is 
my duty as well as my right. I find, Sir, from the long 
continuance of certain members of Congress, parties have 
been formed, jealousies fomented, and private emolu- 
ments for brothers, friends, &c, made a great and princi- 
pal object with some who, by long and assiduous attention, 
are become skilful in such kind of management. A 
triumvirate may be as dangerous to the United States as 
it once was to Rome, and the assassination of the charac- 
ters of those who have served faithfully their country is 
no less horrid than a proscription of their persons. Our 
public debt is increasing like a rolling snowball, and the 
loss or waste of millions in different departments by neg- 
lect and inattention is as fatal as if we had a Cesar, a 
Pompey, or a Ceassus dissipating the same in pleasures 
or corruption. Our public debt is now at about ninety- 
five millions of dollars, fift^ millions of which has been 
contracted since the first of last March. At this rate (and 
it docs not lessen, nor is it likely to), what must be our 
debt by the first of next March ? I have onlv to say that 
when our public credit comes to break, it will not be the 


bursting of a bubble, but of a bomb, which will kindle com- 
bustibles already gathering in every quarter, and spread 
mischief far and wide. If you, Sir, are not already made 
acquainted with the state of our affairs, I can no way 
shew my regard for and attention to Connecticut better 
than by laying this before them. If you are, it is per- 
haps unnecessary, but it will at least shew my zeal for 
the cause of my country. 

Nothing but a foreign loan, and that instantly made, 
can prevent evils, which I tremble when I look forward 
to. I have long since been of this opinion, and very early, 
even before the arrival of Doctor Franklin in France, I 
set forward a negotiation for one. I formed a correspond- 
ence in Holland, and had brought it to such a forwardness 
that I was about to set out to compleat it when my recall 
arrived. I considered it as the most important service I 
could perform, and, well assured it was then in my power, 
I determined before I quitted the public employ to effect 
it. On my arrival here I informed Congress of my design, 
and the important light in which I viewed it, but to this 
moment nothing has been done. I will not trust myself 
any further on a subject which w T eighs down my spirits, 
but will hint at a remedy, which I am happy to know is 
still at hand. It is the virtue of the people, who ought 
to be well informed how their public affairs are conducted. 
A more numerous representation is necessary in Congress ; 
a rotation ought to take place without evasion or excep- 
tion. This would prevent the forming connections and 
parties. An ordinance, however self-denying an one it 
may be, ought to pass, that no member of Congress, dur- 
ing his being a member, or within twelve months after, 
accept or enjoy any office of trust and profit, of honor or 
emolument of any kind, under the United States. An act 
like this will prevent many grievances now complained 
of. I find but few persons now in Congress who belonged 
to it when I left America ; the rest have retired to differ- 

17 78.] SILAS DEANE. 297 

ent employments, and the house is scarce ever composed 
of the same memhers for two weeks successively. Not 
one half the members are now here who were present 
when I first arrived, and not a day happens but some 
one leaves his seat to go and attend his private affairs for 
a few days or weeks, during which he is sometimes re- 
lieved by another, and sometimes not, tho' the State he 
belongs to is, perhaps, not represented during his absence, 
which is often the case, and by this means it unavoidably 
happens frequently that one man hears a cause, and another 
must judge, or it is not judged by a full representation. 
Permit me to recommend that the Delegates of Connecti- 
cut, as well as others, transmit regularly an account of 
their foreign negotiations and treaties to the Assembly 
or Assemblies to which they belong, as also an exact state 
of the public finances and expenditures, as well as of the 
ways and means proposed for supplies. The observations 
I have made are, I know, well founded, and what I have 
taken the liberty to recommend is well meant ; they come 
from one who never can be otherways than wholly and 
most ardently devoted to the service of his country, and 
though he meet no other reward, the consciousness of 
having always sincerely aimed to serve its most essential 
interests, and of having been, at least at times, successful, 
will always be an ample and abiding one, which neither 
the accidents of time, nor the envy and malice of enemies 
can deprive of. 

I have wrote, as you see (cceur overt) or open hearted to 
you, and will not after wearying you with so long a letter 
tire you at the close of it with an ill-timed apologj 7 , but 
assure you I am in every situation, with the most sincere 
esteem and attachment, 

Your Excellency's most obedient 

and very humble servant. 

Silas Deane. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 



Philadelphia, Oct 27 :h , 177S. 

Sir, — The great affairs of finance and the cloathing 
department are yet unfinished. The delay of these im- 
portant matters gives me great anxiety. I have used 
my utmost endeavours to forward them. I wish another 
Delegate might be immediately sent from Connecticut ; 
was in hopes Col Dyer would have come before now. 
The committee appointed to consider your Excellency's 
letter respecting the late Commissary Trumbull's affairs 
have not yet made report, tho' I understand they are 
ready when Congress can receive it. I don't know what 
their report will be. The affair of the currency is to be 
further considered to-day. The members in general seem 
to be at a loss what can be done to restore its credit. 
The plan that appears to me most probable to be adopted 
is to recommend to the legislatures of the several States 
immediately to pass acts to raise by taxes about five or 
six million dollars annually for eighteen or twenty years, 
as a sinking fund sufficient for the redemption of all the 
bills and Loan Office certificates, to take out of currency 
about fifty million dollars by loan, to lay a tax of about 
twelve or thirteen million dollars for the expence of the 
next year ; and if further emissions are necessary that 
additional funds be provided for sinking them within the 
time limited for sinking those that are now outstanding, 
so that the possessors of the bills and lenders of money 
be able to make a just estimate of the value of their 
securities. A note for £100 on compound interest, pay- 
able at the expiration of twenty years, would be equal 
to one for £321 for the same term without interest. If 
the bills of public credit, so far as they exceed a sufficient 
quantity for a medium of trade, are to be considered only 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


as securities for money without interest, rebating the 
compound interest for the time before they are redeema- 
ble will determine their present value, and they will 
gradually appreciate as the time of their redemption 
approaches. Enclosed is a computation of the annual 
increase of £100 for twenty-one years on compound 

I wish to be favored with your Excellency's opinion 
on the best mode of establishing the credit of the cur- 
rencj\ I expect that it will be referred to the several 
States to clothe their quotas of the army for the fu- 
ture, and that the Continental cloathing on hand and 
which may be imported in consequence of orders already 
given will be divided to the several States in some just 

There has been a late embarkation of troops at New 
York, but w T e don't yet learn their destination. We hear 
they are leaving Staten Island. Some think they are 
about to abandon New York and leave the country: others 
conjecture they will make an attack on Boston, and at- 
tempt to destroy the French fleet. 

We have no late advices from Europe ; no letter from 
M r John Adams in France has been received of later date 

than last Ma v. 


I am, with the greatest respect & esteem, 

Your Excellency's obedient, hble. servant, 

His Excellency Gov' Trumbull. ROGER ShEKMAX. 


To his Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Captain General, 
Governor & Com/moAider in Chief in & over the State of Co?mec~ 
ticut, & the Honorable the Council of said State. 

This Memorial of the subscribers, Selectmen of the 
Town of riimouth, in the State of the Massachusetts-Bay, 


humbly sheweth, that your Petitioners, since the present 
war, have for some years been deprived of their usual 
method of procuring provisions, especially bread-corn, 
and being so circumstanced have, once & again, petitioned 
your Excellency & Honours for relief, our requests hav- 
ing in time past been favorably recieved. And being at 
this time in circumstances more distressing than ever, we 
find ourselves in behalf of our Town obliged once more to 
trouble you with our distresses, and beg you will grant 
us some relief. Viz., our friends Mess rs Davis & Spooner, 
merchants in this Town, have loaded a little schooner 
of about twenty tons, with choice good rock salt, liver 
oyl, codfish, rum, &c. (agreeable to the Schedule here- 
unto annexed), for the express purpose of procuring in 
your State grain, such as wheat, Indian corn & rye, also 
flour, &C, for the supply of the inhabitants of this 
Town, it being so scarce here as that there is not, in 
our opinion, half a bushel of bread corn of any kind to 
a family, and none to be had in the neighboring towns 
as usual in years past, the crops being cut short greatly 
by the drougth and an unusual storm. We therefore 
pray your Excellency and Honours, to take our re- 
quest into serious consideration and grant us such 
relief & supplies, to be brought out of your State, 
as to you shall seem proper, the embargo notwithstand- 
ing. The master of their vessell, M r Ephraim Bartlett, 
if present, or their clerk, M r Thomas Davis, Jun r , 
who will present this Memorial, will be able to inform 
your Excellency and Honours of the distresses of 
our Town (and the danger of their increasing to des- 
peration the ensuing winter, if not relieved) in a more 
particular manner than your Memorialists can herein 
describe. Relying on your compassionate, humane dis- 
position towards the distressed in general, and those 
of a sister State in particular, that you will give us all 
needfull relief, so far as you in your wisdom think proper, 

1778.] WILLIAM HEATH. 301 

beg leave to subscribe ourselves jour Excellency's & 

Most obedient, very humble serv ts . 

James Drew* 
Thomas Nicolsox. W m Ceombie. 

Theo: Cotton. 
Isaac Symmes. 

Plimouth, October 2S th , 1778. 


Head Quarters, Boston, 2 Nov r , 1778. 

Sir, — I did myself the honor to write your Excellency 
on the 28 th ult° that the Troops of Convention would, if 
possible, begin their march for Charlotteville in Virginia 
on Wednesday morning next ; but finding it impracti- 
cable I am obliged to defer it until Saturday morning, 
when, I hope, every thing will be in readiness. An ex- 
press will go forward to your Excellency on the morning 
the troops begin to move. Finding the Germans rather 
unwieldy in two divisions, I have given orders to have 
them march in three divisions. 

The troops are escorted by a guard of about 430 men, 
which, I apprehend, will be sufficient until they reach 
Connecticutt. Your Excellency will then order such 
escort as you may think proper ; perhaps as they ap- 
proach Hudson's River a stronger escort will be needful. 

An Ass fc Qu r Master & Commissary will attend the 
troops from hence to the borders of Connecticutt, and I 

* William Heath was born in Roxbury, Mass., March 7, 1737, was made a provincial 
Brigadier-General in Dec, 1774, served wifh credit through the War of the Revolution, 
having command of the Eastern Department from 1777 to June. 1770, and died in his 
native town Jan. 24. 18U- (See Appleton's Cyclopedia, vol. iii. p. 154.) Twenty-six 
volumes of his official and oth. r letters were given to the Historical Society by the late 
Amos A. Lawrence in 1850. (See Proceedings, vol. iv. pp. 287-303, also 5 Mass. Hist. 
Coll., vol. iv.) For an exhaustive paper on the treatment of the Convention Troops, by the 
late Charles Deane, see Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Oct., 1377. — Eds. 


would request your Excellency to call upon those who 
are fixed in the State of Connecticut^ to attend and 
furnish the necessary supplies through your State, unless 
your Excellency should think proper to adopt some other 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient servant. 

W. Heath. 

P. S. Upwards of 120 teams will be necessary for the 

His Excf Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 2 nd Nov r , 1778. Maj r General Heath, de March of the Con- 
vention Troops. 


Head Quarters, Boston, Nov. 3 d , 177S. 

Sir, — Since I had the honor to write you on yester- 
day, I have received the honor of yours of the 2S ult°. 

I have not the direction of the route of the troops of 
the Convention, to Virginia, as your Excellency will 
observe by the paragraph of his Excellency General 
Washington's letter to me of 21 ultimo, on that subject, 
which I do myself the honor to enclose, any further than 
the border of the State of Connecticut. 

I am exceedingly sorry to hear of the badness of the 
roads & scarcity of forage on the route through the State 
of Connecticut, but, as I am inform'd, the roads are 
equally as bad or worse through the County of Berkshire. 
I am also informd, that there are many disaffected per- 
sons on that route, and as every preparation is made here 
for the troops going by the way of Enfield, y e several 
officers who are to have the charire of them irone on to 
Rutland to take the command & execute their orders, I 

1778:] IIEXLY LAURENS. 303 

do not see how an alteration can be made without much 
embarrassment and delay. 

I am sorry that your. Excellency should have any 
trouble or difficulty on this occasion ; but I do not know 
a gentleman whose ability can better devise means to 
surmount them. & I am confident you will allow that I 
have already had my full share. I have the honor to be, 
with the greatest respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, hble. serv fc . 

W. Heath. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 3 Nov r , 1773. Maj r General Heath, de Convention Troops, 
enclosed* w th the 2 nd Nov. 


Philadelphia, 10 th Nov r , 1778. 

Dear Sir, — I entreat you will not blame me for the 
long delinquency on my part in our correspondence. 
Permit me to assure you, Sir, my silence originated in a 
sympathy arising from my particular love and regard 
for you ; your kindness and your knowledge of business 
will supply an apology for the rest. 

I have now my eye on your favor of the 5 th October. 
I have learned enough of the services of our late friend 
in his office of Commissary to know that the public are 
much indebted to him, and you may rely on me, Sir, for 
doing every thing in my power to obtain suitable ac- 
knowledgements for the benefit of his family. You have 
no doubt been informed by M r Els worth that a report 
had been lately made on your representation to Con- 
gress, that exceptions were urged to certain parts, and 
that therefore the whole was recommitted. The best 
influence on that occasion was to assure my friends who 
were unacquainted with the merits of the late M r Joseph 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


Trumbull, that he had been one of the best servants of 
Congress, that I was persuaded had he been continued 
in the office of Commissary upon his own terms the pub- 
lic would have saved five millions of dollars or more, and 
many hundreds of soldiers. To prove this to the satis- 
faction of every reasonable person will not be difficult 
to me. It requires only a retrospect to the circumstances 
of our army at Valley Forge during the last winter, and 
to the amazing advance of every species of provision 
immediately after the stores which he had amassed w T ere 

I cannot on this occasion bound myself by five mil- 
lions ; the want of forethought and industry in his suc- 
cessor occasioned an advance of the price of provision, 
and every other article kept pace with that. The con- 
trast of these officers demonstrates the merit of the former. 
Hence, Sir, your requisitions and expectations on behalf 
of the surviving family do not appear to me to be ill 
grounded; nor do I believe there would be any great 
opposition, provided the accounts were adjusted, or ad- 
justed so far as circumstances will admit of. I shall make 
an opportunity to-day for conversing with M r Elsworth 
on this subject, and do myself the honor of writing to 
you again soon. 

I perceive, Sir, we were in equal danger on the 28 
August, and that we have each of us particular cause for 
thankfulness for the escape of our children from clangers 
to which their love of their country had exposed them. 
My own inform me what were your feelings while the 
event of that day remained unknown to us, and I am 
persuaded we have both learned in all cases, under the 
severest pangs arising from apprehensions, such as I 
confess I felt, on that occasion, and in deep distress from 
real misfortunes, to say, — " Thy will be done.' , 

11 th . I have conversed with M r Elsworth, who informs 
me the committee have reconsidered their late report, 


and are prepared to deliver another report to the house. 
I hope this will be done to-morrow, and that the issue 
will afford you satisfaction. 

Congress seem to be now in earnest to proceed upon 
measures for realizing and appreciating our paper money. 
"We may .make of this a fine-spun theorem, but unless we 
strike at the root, the cause of our immense emissions, 
the peculation of great public officers, the practice of 
monopolizers, &e., &c., we may drudge on. The evil 
will remain, and our country will be reduced systemati- 
cally to destruction. In a word, Sir, that patriotism 
which we affected to say had led us into the present con- 
test is out of fashion, and unless we speedily revive it, 
we shall experience a violent convulsion which will go 
near to ruin ns, and which will at last bring us into 
universal disgrace. I lament the prospect. 

Believe me to be, clear Sir, 

With the highest respect & esteem, 

Your obliged and ob*, hble. servant. 

Henry Laurens. 

P. S. I beg my compliments to M r Jon th Trumbull, 
jun r . The treasury, I am told, have informed him of his 
appointment to the Comptrollership, unanimously elected. 
Salary 4,000 dollars p r annum. 

The Hon ble Gov r Trumbull, Connecticut. 



Philadelphia, Nov r 10 th , 1778. 

Sir, — We are honored with your Excellency's letter 
of the 2 nd inst. by messenger Brown. 

The treasury arrangement we herewith transmit your 

* Priuted from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


Excellency, and have the pleasure to inform that the 
choice of Col° Trnmhull to the head of it was unanimous. 

The equally alarming and embarrassed subject of 
finances is yet under consideration. Congress we trust, 
however, are nearly ripe for resolutions respecting them, 
which may be salutary, if not decisive. A foreign loan, 
how eligible soever, in our present circumstances, we 
have yet no assurance can be obtained, and from the 
present warlike appearances in Europe have less reason 
than heretofore to expect it. Establishing a fund by 
taxes for sinking in process of time the capital debt, and 
by taxes and an internal loan taking out of circulation 
some of the past emissions to make way for future ones, 
is all, therefore, we are certain at present of being able 
to do. A rapid appreciation is not from hence to be 
expected, nor perhaps wished for. 

The committee on your Excellency's letter of the 8 th 
of October reported in favor of a commission to be allowed 
of half p r cent. This mode of allowance some members 
objected to, as having been found pernicious and improper 
in their opinion to receive the farther countenance of 
Congress in any case whatever, though they wished 
ample justice to be done in this case, and seemed fully 
sensible it had not been heretofore. 

The letter, on motion, was recommitted to the same 
committee, who wait a favorable opportunity of report- 
ing again in favor of a gross sum, which they hope will 
be accepted and do justice. The fate of their second 
report your Excellency will be informed of the earliest 

Congress have no late foreign intelligence. A letter 
from Commissary Loring at N. York received this day 
promises immediately to send out the officers now due 
to us, and proposes the exchange of the remaining bal- 
lance of our officers in their hands for their privates in 
ours, and that commissioners be appointed to meet and 

1778.] jacob gerrish. 307 

adjust the matter, and settle a full & compleat exchange 
as soon as can be done. 

We are, Sir, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient and 

most humble servants. 

Roger Sherman. 

nis Excellency Gov Trumbull. OLIVER EJlSWQRTH. 


Rutland, Nov* 10 th , 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — I am directed by the Hon ble Major Gen- 
eral Heath to march the troops of y e Convention of 
Saratoga, both Brittish & German, from Rutland and 
Cambridge to Enfield in Connecticut ; the Germans be- 
gan their march yesterday, the Brittish begin their march 
this morning ; the Brittish & Germans march in three 
divisions each, they move successively, a day's march 
preserved between each division. I shall arrive att En- 
field with the first division Brittish on Fry day next. I 
am directed to send your Excellency notice the morning 
the first division march* from Rutland, and on my arrival 
att Enfield to deliver them to your Excellency's order, 
as soon as the several divisions arrive. 
And am, Sir, with all respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, hum ble serv*. 
Jacob Gerrish, 
Commanding officer of if Guards in y e Slate 
of Massachusetts Bay. 

To his Excellency G. Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Novem r 10 th , 1778. Jacob Gerrish, de March of the Convention 

* Colonel Jacob Gerrish of Sfewbury was captain of a company which marched ro 
Cambridge immediately after the battle of Lexington. He served nearly to the end of the 
War, and died in 1817, at the age of seventy-seven. See Allen's Biographical Dictionary, 
p. 378; Ma-*. Soldiers and Sailors iu the Revolutionary War, vol. vi. p. 307. — Eds. 



(Circular.) In Committee of Congress. 

Philadelphia, ll lh Nov, 1778. 

Sir. — The dangerous practices of engrossers have en- 
creased so rapidly with the public distresses & have so 
accumulated them that every friend to this country, or 
even to humanity, cannot but wish to see some remedy 
to an evil which threatens the existence, not only of the 
several States, but of the poorer part of the individuals 
which compose them. We are fully sensible that this 
disease should be treated with a cautious and with a 
delicate hand. But at the same time we confide in the 
w r isdom of your Legislature for the delicacy and caution. 
"We do not pretend to mark out the means which they 
should adopt, but the confidence reposed in us by Con- 
gress demands that we should at least hint what, in our 
idea, may conduce to this valuable purpose. 

The articles necessary for the consumption of the army 
are easily designated, and we trust there will not be much 
difficulty in distinguishing between the dealer in a [or?] 
manufacturer of those articles and the engrosser, or as 
he would call himself the speculator. These two objects 
being accomplished, it surely cannot be deemed incon- 
sistent with policy or justice that he should be obliged 
to part with them to the public. The process necessary 
for this purpose must depend on the civil institutions, 
w r hich may have been respectively adopted, but it should 
be as short and as simple as is consistent with the Con- 
stitution of the State. One thing more is necessary to 
complete the system, namely, the price. If this is such 
as to leave the speculator his profits, nothing more is 
operated by the law than merely to sanctify his unright- 
eous gains. If the price be fixed by law the efforts now 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Let:er Book. — Eds. 


making to render our money valuable (and which we 
doubt not your Legislature will assist by heavy taxes) 
will only tend to realize what he hath already accumu- 
lated. Perhaps a power lodged somewhere to fix the 
price monthly by the name of assize, and a deduction 
from it of about twenty p r cent on commodities in the 
hands of engrossers, would be most effectual. This, how- 
ever, and every thing else we have mentioned, is sub- 
mitted to your wise consideration. 
We have the honor to be, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servants. 

Natii. Scudder. 
Gouv E Morris. 

Gov' of Connecticut. W* WHIPPLE. 


(Circular.) In Committee of Congress. 

Philadelphia, 11 th Nov r , 1778. 

Sir, — The great and increasing difficulties in the 
Quarter Master and Commissary General Departments 
have induced Congress to adopt the resolution, of which 
we have the honor to enclose you copy. Among the 
measures immediately necessary for placing these mat- 
ters on a proper foundation is the acquiring a knowledge 
of the proper resources of these States. The articles 
of consumption which we would most particularly be 
informed of are flour, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn & 
rice, beef, pork, working oxen & horses, cyder and vine- 
gar. The ignorance and the interests of mankind oppose 
so strongly our wishes in this respect, that after every 
effort and every prudent precaution our information will 
perhaps be of far less importance than could be wished. 
It is, however, our duty to aim at it, and we have no 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


reason to doubt your Excellency's concurrence in the 
steps necessary to attain what we have in view, especially 
when it is considered how readily your own good sense 
will dictate the impracticability of continuing the war, 
at least of continuing it to advantage, while we remain 
supremely ignorant of the supplies our country is capa- 
ble of affording. Y\ T e have to intreat that your Excel- 
lency, from your knowledge of the productions of the 
several parts of your State, would appoint some proper 
persons in whose industry and secrecy you can confide, 
to make proper lists, through the districts you shall 
severally allot to them, of the quantity and number of 
each of the articles abovenamed as are produced in it, 
which may probably be over and above the necessary 
consumption of the inhabitants. And also as nearly as 
possible the quantity, &c, which they consume over 
and above their own production, or of what they do not 

We hope that these lists maybe transmitted to us with 
all convenient speed, to the end that proper arrange- 
ments may immediately be made for the ensuing cam- 
paign. Upon transmitting an account of the expences 
which may accrue in this business, they shall immediately 
be paid. 

You will perceive, Sir, that every precaution should 
be taken to prevent this object from transpiring, lest, as 
on many former occasions, the devoted adherents of lucre 
should make a gain of the public distresses. 
AVe are respectfully, 

Your Excellency's most obed* & hble. servants. 

Natti. Scuddee. 
Gouv E Morris. 
W B Whipple. 

The Gov r of Connecticut. 

1778.] THOMAS SEYMOUR. 311 


To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Hartford, Nov r 18 th , 1778. 

Hoxorable Sir, — Last week Col. Bland of the Con- 
tinental Dragoons, sent by Gen 1 Washington to take the 
comand of the Convention troops, applied to me for the 
aid of a small party of our l fc horse to facilitate the con- 
duct of the forementioned troops thro' this State. j* As 
the matter required dispatch, & thot the request very 
reasonable in order to the general weal, I accordingly 
ordered a detachment of ten from Cap fc Norton's troop 
(lately Cap* Loomis's) on the east side the river un- 
der the comand of a Corporal, to join Col. Bland at 
Enfield, which was executed accordingly. Their service 
was limited in the same manner with the militia ; & I 
engaged them the same allowances as have been usual 
on similar occasions. I have no doubt of your Excel- 
lency's full approbation of my conduct, tho' a little out 
of cofrion strict course, & am, with great truth k regard, 
Y r Excel y3 most ob*, hble. serv*. 

Tho s Seymour. 

Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 18 th Nov r , 1778. L* Col Seymour, de Escort to Col Bland. 

* Thomas Seymour was born in Hartford, Conn., March 17, 1734-5, graduated at 
Yale College in 1755, and studied law. Shortly after the breaking out of the War of the 
Revolution he was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the first regiment of Connecticut militia, and 
in May, 1777, he was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Light Horse. After the close of the 
war he was chosen the first mayor of Hartford, and filled that oilice for twenty-eight years, 
when he resigned. He died in that city July 30, 1829. See Dexter's Biographical Sketches 
of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 378, 379; Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 1776-Feb., 
1778, p. 262. — Eds. 

t Colonel Bland's application was written with a pencil, and was probably enclosed to 
Governor Trumbull in Colonel Seymour'3 letter. It is as follows: — 

Col. Bland presents his cornp 19 to Col. Seymor of the Light Horse. Col. Bland, being 
appointed to take the command of the Convention troops through the Stare of Connecticut, 
thinks it will be essentially necessary to have a small party of L l Dragoons, wd be glad to 
know of Col. Seymor whether he could not spare a subaltern's command, viz., a Cornet, 
Serj 4 , Corporal & ten for that purpose when required, on a short notice. 

Nov* 12. 

Bull's Tavees. — Eds. 



Philadelphia, 24 th Nov 1 , 1778. 

Sir, — Enclosed are the treaties between His Most 
Christian Majesty and the United States which Congress 
have ordered to be sent to the government of each State. 
It is not thought expedient to publish them at present 
in the newspapers. 

We are informed that the Assembly of New Jersey 
have at length acceded to the Confederation, and author- 
ized their Delegates to ratify it in Congress. The As- 
sembly of Maryland is also now sitting ; 'tis hoped the 
two latter t will agree to the articles of Confederation 
before they rise. 

Congress has for some days past attended to the affair 
of the currency every day. and have agreed to persevere 
untill some measures are concluded on. They have some 
votes on the subject, but no plan is completed. We have 
no material news from foreign parts, and whether the 
enemy intend to evacuate New York this winter remains 
yet uncertain. 

The committee on the late Commissary General's affair 
have not reported since the recommitment. 

The appointment of Jon th Trumbull, jun r , Esq r , to the 
office of Comptroller of the Treasury was unanimous. 
His acceptance of the trust and speedy entry upon the 
execution of it would, I apprehend, be much for the 
public good. 

I begin to be impatient for the arrival of some of the 
Delegates from Connecticut, as some of my affairs require 
my return home. I hope two will come forward imme- 

* Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 

•f It is evident from this expression that something was omitted when this letter wz 
copied into the Letter Book. Probably Maryland and Delaware were " the two latter 
States mentioned bv Mr. Sherman. — Eds. 


diately. I wrote to Col Dyer and Mr. Hoot on the 
subject some time ago. but have received no answer. 

Tiie prices of articles are very high here, from six to 
eight times as high as they were in the year 177-1. It 
is difficult for any one State to fix a standard in trade 
for itself without injury to the general interest. 1 hope 
a scheme will soon be adopted for doing justice to the 
public and individuals without any violation of the public 

I am, with great esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's obedient, hble. servant. 

Eoger Sherman. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, in Lebanon. =P Nath 1 
Shaw, Esq\ T . 

New London, 1 th Dec r , 1778. 
His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Sir, — As the time of the artillery companies being 
engag d for, is near expired, ocations my troubling your' 
Excellency at this time. As the fortification at New 
London & Groton have now got to be objects of some 
considerable importance, more esspecially the latter, and 
the stores, &c, in the different magazeans of considerable 
value, which calls for the greatest care in order to pre- 
vent their being embezlecl or otherways destroyed, it has 
ever been the case whenever the militia have come upon 
the ground that more or less destruction has been made. 
I should be extreemly glad if your Excellency will please 

• Colonel William Ledyard was born in Groton, Conn., Tec. 6, 1738, was early com- 
missioned as a colonel in the Connecticut militia, and was in command at Now London 
and Groton at the time of Arnold's expedition. After the surrender of Fort Griswold, 
Sept. 0, 1731, he was "inhumanly massacred" by a British officer. See New York 
Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. vii. pp. 11, 12 j Battle of Grotou Heights and 
its Centennial, passim. — E >s. 


to give some orders respecting the keys of the magazeans, 
stores, kc. I find the more I am acquainted with the 
duty belonging to a fortification, the more I se the 
necessity of having proper soldiers to garison them ; in 
the late alarm I engag d about forty sailors belonging 
to the ships of war in this harbour to assist in defending 
the fortifications. Your Excellency is fully acquainted 
that the militia in general are but of little service in 
working of cannon. The fortifications at Groton have 
now upwards of thirty cannon mounted in them, which 
will require at least a hundred good experienced soldiers 
to serve them whenever the fortress is attack d . I dont 
know of any fortification belonging to the American 
States under better curcumstances of beeing defended 
than these at Groton, but beg your Excellency will for- 
give me when I give it as my oppinion that fortifications 
are of but very little consequence if they are to be de- 
fended only by unexperienced troops. The duty neces- 
sary to be known in a fortification is considerable ; the 
signals proper to be given at Fort Trumbull, &c, with 
regard to vessels passing & repassing requires the great- 
est care as well as the necessary knowledge.- 
I am your Excellency's most ob* 

& most liumb 6 serv*. 

W M Ledyard. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , in Lebanon. 

Boston, 4 th Dec r , 1773. 
Sir, — This waits on your Excellency with acknowl- 
edgment of the honour of your letter of the 28 th ult,, & 

* Arnold Welles, a lineal descendant from Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut, 
was born in Boston Dec. 25, 1727, graduated at Harvard College in 1745, and died in Boston 

1778.] AKXOLD WELLES. 315 

the most sincere condolance on the heavy loss its sea! 
reminds of your sustaining. We are obliged to your 
Excellency for the permit to M r Elisba Gillet. That any 
obstructions have banned in our case have been verv mi- 
expected to us, & not a little perplexing. We flatter our- 
selves, there would have been no difficulty, if it had lain 
wholly with vour Excellency, or could the authoritv have 
been fully apprised (which is more than can be expected 
of such lar<re bodies) of the distressed situation of this 
town, & the peculiar circumstances of our case. 

The inhabitants of this town & the vicinity have always 
been used to look to other States for great part of their 
subsistance. They have been greatly exhausted of late, 
what with the French fleet & Bur^oyne's army. Ever 
since regaining possession, they have been under almost 
constant apprehension of an attack from the enemy, under 
frequent actual alarms, & cannot be justly viewed in any 
other light than on Continental duty, a garrison guarding 
against the threatned inroads of the enemy, & defending 
almost the only avenue for the supply of the army with 
warlike stores, &c. Yet after freely delivering up, & with- 
out grudging, what provision there was in town for the 
use of the French fleet on its first arrival, they were aston- 
ished, to find themselves denied any supply, in actual 
danger once & again of suffering 'for want, spectators 
only of the supply of the fleet, not more on Continental 
duty than themselves, nor on duty of more importance. 
I hope it will be considered, as it ought to be, that our 
aim has been, without the least view of traffick, only to 
apply a small part of the produce of our own land to the 
support of our own families, k those of persons employed 
by us, & depending on us for the means of subsistence. 

in August. 1302. He was a merchant, *nd President of the Branch Bank of the United 
States. II is only brother, Samuel, was born in Boston March 5, 1725, graduated at Har- 
vard College in 1744, was also a merchant, and died in Boston Oct. 15, 1709. See History 
of the Welles family, pp. 121, 122. — Eds. 


These considerations "will, we cannot but hope, pave the 
way for the other loads to come, which my brother (who 
is now out of town) came away in full assurance of, after 
waiting on your Excellency for that purpose, being what 
the families above mention'd have most pressing occa- 
sion for. 

I am, your Exc y3 much obliged & most obed* serv*. 

Arnold Welles. 

His Exc>' Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 4 th Deceni r 1778. Arnold Welles, Esq r , de Permit for y e Rents. 
rec d 12 th vespere. 


Say-Horsexeck, Decern' 5 th , 1773. 

Sir, — The defenceless state of this part of the country 
occations us to trouble your Excellency with this appli- 
cation, to solicit your influence to procure an order for 
part of the Continental troops to be order' d this way ; the 
country has now no security from the incursions of the 
enemy in large or small parties, except what oppositions 
can be given by part of Col Enos' reg fc . Gen 1 McDougal 
is station'd at Peekskill, Gen 1 Putnam at Danbury, each 
thirty miles from this place, the country from New York 
to Danbury is intirely open to the ravages of the enemy; 
and they have already avail' d themselves of the removal 
of the troops. By the best information, the markets in 
New York have not been so amply snpply'd this two 

* Roger Enos was born in Simsbury, Conn., in 1729, entered the military service of 
Connecticut in 1759, and served at intervals nearly to the close of the War of the Revolu- 
tion. In 1779 he removed to Vermont, where he took an active part in public affairs. He 
died in Colchester, Vt.. Oct. G, 1808. (See Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 
vol. ii. p. 359.) John Mead was a representative from Greenwich to the General Assembly 
of Connecticut at various times. May 1, 17". o, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Xinth Regiment, and in May, 17S1, he succeeded General Silliman in command of the 
Fourth Brigade. (See Conn. Col. Records, vol. xv. p. -13; Record of Connecticut Men 
during the Revolution, pp. 430, 4.3b.)— Eds. 


years as within ten clays past, cattle, wheat, hogs, & poul- 
try of all kinds, in great quantities are daily driving to 
the enemy, and the honest friends to the country are 
exceedingly distress'd, their property taken away, and 
they left without even a hope of protection, without your 
Excellency's interposition can procure it ; the State reg* 
here can do little more than guard the roads by the East 
River, whilst the country between this k North River, 
fourteen miles or more, is open to be travers'd by the 
enemy without a check ; could a brigade from Peekskill 
be advanc'd to Croton River & one from Danbury to 
Peck's Land or Round Hill, between this place and Bed- 
ford, their distances would not then be so great but that 
an effectual security might be given by their guards to 
great extent of country, which will otherwise afford 
large supplies to enemy and greatly distress & disaffect 
the inhabitants. 

We are, with esteem and respect, 

Your Excellency's obed fc serv ts . 

Roger Exos. 

Johx Mead. 

5 th Decern 1 ", Horse neck. 

P. S. While writing we have rec d authentic intel- 
ligence that twenty six. transports with troops on board 
and one ship of force are moving up North River ; they 
w r ere last evening at Tarry town. Three thousand are 
also gone up by the river side, and had reach' d that 
place ; it is suppos'd their intentions are to go to Bed- 
ford, sweeping the country of the cattle, &c. 

Roger Exos. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Say, 5 th Decern., 1778. Colonels Enos & Mead, de our coasts 
exposed. Excursion of the enemy to Tarrytown for Bedford. Rec d b th . 



Council Chamber, Boston, Dec? 8 th , 1778. 

Sir, — It is represented to this Board that a number of 
men in the State of Connecticut, as well as this and other 
of the United States of America, are concerned in coun- 
terfeiting the Continental currency, and many more in 
passing and uttering the same to the great detriment 
of the public. I am, therefore, directed by the Council 
of this State to request the authority of your State to 
appoint a Committee of Secrecy for the purpose of discov- 
ering and apprehending those who are guilty of such 
villainous practices, and to look up evidences against 
them, in order to bring them to condign punishment, and 
instruct said committee to confer with a committee that 
is already chosen by this State, as also a committee that is 
chosen by the State of New Hampshire for that purpose, 
as a most necessary and probable method to put a stop to 
such nefarious practices and save the sinking credit of our 

In the name & behalf of the Council, I have the honor 
to be, with great respect and esteem, Sir, 
Your very humble servant. 

Gov 1 Trumbull. Jere. Powell, President. 


State of Connecticut, 

Lebanon, 8 th December, 1778. 

Gentlemen, — The depredations made last summer 
on our settlements at Susquehannah were very alarming ; 
'tis so likewise that no provisions are made for the secur- 
ity of those inhabitants that returned to take care of 
what the enemy did not destroy. I am informed that 
the force hitherto sent is in no measure sufficient to pre- 
vent mischief being done them very frequently. That 


there are great quantities of pork and grain remaining, 
but many of the inhabitants who were returning with 
intention to resettle their habitations are discouraged 
and coming off, through fear of the plunderers that often 
appear among them. Ought not an adequate number to 
repel the enemy to be sent for relief of the suffering 
inhabitants that do remain there ? I esteem it a matter 
worthy serious and early consideration. 

You are sensible of the sad condition our finances and 
currency are in. I trust Congress is meditating a rem- 
edy. 'Tis necessary this State should be acquainted 
with the measures concerted on that subject at the next 
sessions of our Assembly. 'Tis a Continental object, — 
no one State can give the necessary relief ; and unless 
some relief is speedily provided our affairs will grow 
worse and w r orse. The remedy for the public is the 
same as for a private person, — that is, to pay his debt 
when 'tis in his power. 'Tis in the power of the public 
to pay off a reasonable part of its debt. The bills are 
yet in the hands of almost every body ; and 'tis easier 
paying taxes when this is the case than it will be when 
speculators and others have accumulated the bills. Is 
not taxation the plain path for us? but then 'tis neces- 
sary that all the States tax in some degree of similarity. 
Here let me ask whether all the States have gone into 
the measure of funding their own bills to take them out 
of circulation ? Have they paid the several sums for 
which they are requested to tax and pay for the use of 
the Continent ? What will probably be the success of 
an internal loan so long as the value of our currency is 
left unascertained, and so rapid a depreciation going ? 
Will not your monied people choose rather to make the 
best of their money in some kind of business than to 
trust it to an uncertain future redemption in the hands 
of the public ? A foreign loan taken upon proper prin- 
ciples appears to me much most eligible. There is no 


doubt it may be obtained when Confederation is settled, 
and funds for it can be laid. Why are not the Articles 
of Confederation concluded? Is it not needful this and 
the affair of our finances be finally settled before the 
enemy leave us? Will not these things left for an after- 
settlement breed internal differences? 

The committee to superintend the Commissary and 
Quarter Master Departments have wrote circular letters 
on that subject, and also for the means to furnish for 
political arithmetic. I wish to know what other States 
do on that head. I can easily find the number of rate- 
able polls, and accounts of the stocks and improved lands 
with their probable produce of grain, the live cattle 
driven this year to the &rmy, and the salted provisions 
put up by the Commissaries. 

Suffer me to enquire after our M r Dean, what situation 
is he now in ? He has been long arrived from France. 
I see no intimations from Congress of the reception he 
meets with from them, or any approbation from that 
body of the services done by him for these States abroad. 
Is he now, or is he like to be again, employed by the 
public ? If his services have been worthily executed, 
should he not have the praise that is their due ? 

Your letter of the 10 th November is duly received. 

I am, with great esteem & regard, gentlemen, 
Your obedient, hble. servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

The Hon. Delegates of this State. 


Lebanon, 10 th December, 1778. 

Gentlemen, — Your several favors of the 11 th Novem- 
ber are duly received. No instance of persons in office 
under the Continent using the public monies intrusted to 


them in engrossing articles upon the public is at present 
within my knowledge. Such nefarious practice where 
discovered should be treated with the utmost severity. 
The practice of private engrossers is abundantly prejudi- 
cial. I could most heartily wish measures might be de- 
vised to stop its dangerous influence. These two matters 
shall be laid before the legislature of this State at their 
next meeting in January, when their importance, I hope, 
will be duly impressed on the consideration of that body. 
That respecting the Quarter Master & Commissary De- 
partments and the obtaining knowledge of the internal 
resources of these States, observe with particular atten- 
tion. At a reasonable time I hope to be able to give you 
some satisfactory information on that head, relative to 
this State. In the mean time shall be much obliged if 
you will acquaint me with the measures fallen on by 
other States towards obtaining the end you propose. 
I am most respectfully, gentlemen, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 

Jon th Trumbull. 

Hon ble [N.] Scudder, G. Morris, & W M Whipple, Esq rs , Committee 
of Congress. 


Lebanon, 10 th December, 1778. 

Sir, — Your esteemed favor of the 10 th of last month 
is now before me. I feel a pleasure in the estimation 
you express of the services of my late son, the purchas- 
ing Commissary General. My own thoughts have often 
turned in the same strain ; and I fondly think still that 
the disadvantages accruing to the States in consequence 
of his being obliged to leave that service is not over- 
rated by your estimation, but that is passed. He is 
gone. 1 now only wait for that justice I think is due 

his estate from the public for those services he actually 



performed. I observe in your letter a stroke relative to 
the adjustment of the accounts. From the ill state of 
health in which the Commissary General left the army, 
from the increase of his disorders after his retirement, 
and the longr and severe conflict he endured with a com- 


plication of diseases until) his death, Congress may easily 
form to themselves an excuse for the accounts not hav- 
ing been adjusted by him; the unavoidable difficulties 
attending an adjustment by an administrator utterly un- 
acquainted with the accounts, no gentleman versed in 
business can be ignorant of. A delay must therefore 
now be reasonably expected. I have the pleasure, how- 
ever, to inform that his cash account is in a fair way to 
be prepared for settlement; and that their appearance 
allowing for times and circumstances in which the busi- 
ness was conducted is favorahle beyond expectation. 
These accounts which are stating and collecting by my 
son, M r Jon th Trumbull, jun r , will by him be exhibited 
for settlement on his arrival in Philadelphia. 

I am, I confess, seriously alarmed at the state of our 
currency, and the seeming delay of the necessary rem- 
edies. A fine-spun theorem on this occasion I deem 
unnecessary. It will not answer our purpose. A care- 
ful attention to the nature and causes of the disorder 
will naturally lead to the remedies needful. The cure 
must be radically attempted, or the applications will but 
increase the disease. The practice of monopolizers, en- 
grossers, &c, are a great source of our evils ; these, how- 
ever, are not the principal, such as they are. I think 
they may be reduced. Are not the means by which 
we have been directed to this situation instructive 
lessons, pointing us to the cure ? So long as our maga- 
zines were kept full, and our stores plentifully and sea- 
sonably provided, speculators had not the opportunity of 
imposing an artificial scarcity and demand upon the pub- 
lic, and thereby making their own prices upon the articles 


of public consumption. Is it that we have exhausted 
our resources that our supplies are now so scantily made 
from hand to mouth, perpetually keeping up the demand, 
and playing in tune to the desires of the ungodly seekers 
of gain? Certainly not; our internal resources are still 
great; our magazines can again be filled. They must 
be filled; the idea of scarcity from this artificial demand 
must be removed. This appears to me to be one great 
remedy. Another and very principal one is to reduce 
the quantity of circulating cash, and means devised to 
prevent the necessity of constant and perpetual new 
emissions for all emergencies. To do this loans and 
taxation must be co-operative. Taxation alone will be 
too slow and dilator} 7 . Loans must therefore be adopted ; 
and of these I think a foreign loan must be most eligible. 
I don't know how T in our present circumstances an inter- 
nal one would operate. I am rather of opinion that 
untill the value of the currency is fully ascertained by 
the public, and so long as a rapid depreciation is going,, 
your moniecl people will rather choose to make the best 
of their money in some kind of business than to trust to 
an uncertain future redemption in the hands of the pub- 
lic. Confederation beimj; finished & funds established, a 
foreign loan, I think, may undoubtedly be obtained; and 
this improved by sale of bills of exchange at the rates 
they will fetch, and a part perhaps invested & realized in 
silver and gold brought into these States and delivered 
for the redemption of part of our bills at such discounted 
rates as would be easily complied to, might be attended 
with very salutary consequences. At same time in aid 
of this remedy heavy taxation should be kept up ; our 
debts should be paying ; our new emissions should be as 
small as possible, and punctually sunk off. Our yearly 
expenditures should certainly be reduced by a yearly 
payment of taxes, and as much of the public funded debt 
paid from time to time as circumstances will admit. A 


youthful, growing, vigorous, and industrious nation need 
be under no great apprehension from a very considerable 
public debt. Peace, arts, commerce, and industry will 
soon exonerate such a state. 

Your favor of 16 th Novem r is also recieved, with its 
several enclosures, which are particularly noted. 
I am, with the greatest esteem, Sir, 

Your most obedient, hble. servant. 

j on th Trumbull. 

The Hon ble President Laurexs. 


State of Newhampshire, Exeter, Decem r 24 th , 1778. 

Sir, — I am desired by the Legislature of this State to 
transmit to your State an Act passed here for preventing 
the return to this State of certain persons therein named, 
and others who have left or shall leave this State, or 
either of the United States of America, and have joined 
or shall join the enemies thereof, which I accordingly 
inclose ; and am to desire the favor of you to transmit to 
the Assembly of this State a list of all persons wdio have 
left your State and joined the enemies of the United 
States, in order that such persons may be prevented from 
residing in this State. 

I shall esteem it a particular favor, Sir, to be informed 
what measures have been taken in your State respecting 
the confiscating, sequestering or securing the estates of 
absentees or pers6ns who have joined the enemy. As 
these are matters of considerable importance, and what 

* Meshech Weare was born in Hampton, N. H., June 16, 1713, and graduated at Har- 
vard College in 1735. In 1776, after the flight of Sir John Wentworth, the last Eoyal 
Governor of New Hampshire, he was chosen President, to which office he was annually 
re-elected until the formation of the new Constitution in 178-t. when he was chosen the 
first Governor of the new State, but was obliged by growing infirmities to resign in a few 
months, and died Jan. 14, 1786. — Eds. 

1778.] RETURN J. MEIGS. 325 

may be the most proper methods of proceeding therein 
is now in contemplation here, it will be very acceptable 
to know what has been done in other States ; therefore 
desire the favor that your Secretary would send me 
copies of such Acts or Resolves as have passed in your 
State relative to these matters. 

I have the honor to be, with the highest sentiments of 

Your most obedient, hum le servant. 

Mesiiech Weare. 

Governor Trumbull. 


The HoTchle Titus Hosmer, Esq r . Middletown. P r Cap 1 Warner. 

Reading, 26 th Decernb 7 , 1778. 

Dear Sir, — The uneasiness among the troops has in 
some measure subsided since the rising of the last Assem- 
bly. The officers have done their utmost to persuade 
the men that justice will be done them without any un- 
necessary delay, notwithstanding which there is freequent 
desertions. If the next Assembly should rise without 
possitively doing something for them, it is my opinion 
that mutiny or desertions will reduce our battalions to 
nothing before Spring. The officers will not find credit 
enough with the men to keep them ; they have been so 
constantly disappointed in every thing for which they 
enter'd the service that they have no dependance on 
promises which have no other credit than the public. I 
dont at present recollect that any one engagement on 
the side of the public has been fulhilld, except giving 
them the nominal sum of their wages. In the first place 
they never had the provisions which was promised nor 
an equivalent in money, the money which they receiv'd 
in lieu of same Lad sunk five sixths of its real value 


before they received it. The [c] loathing has fell short 
in every article. The public promised that those that 
would find their own cloathing should receive money for 
every article at prices which was then affixed ; there is 
upwards of 6,000 dollars due to the soldiers of my reg* for 
cloathing; which thev found themselves for the year 1777 
on that promise. I have not yet been able to obtain 
that money, & if it could be obtaind, its intrinsic value is 
not worth more than one eighth of what the cloathing 
cost the men. The coats for my reg* for the present 
year are now r nearly finished with the year. I have not 
receiv'd, & have no prospect of receiving, half the 
breeches, one third of the shirts or stockings, & not more 
than three fourths of the shoes, which were engaged 
them by the public. I have received 130 blankets only 
for the present year from the continent, have received 
ten only from the State. The men that found their own 
blankets for the year 1777 cannot get pay for them. I 
have many men that have not had a blanket for 18 months 
past. I have exerted myself to procure all these things, 
& have promised the men a thousand times that they 
would be supply'd, & am now every day obliged to re- 
peat these promises almost against belief & expectation. 
I have applications every day for these things k am wit- 
ness to their distresses for w T ant of them. Some now 
have neither shoes or stockings, a great number have no 
breeches or scarcely a substitute ; linnen overhauls worn 
almost out are little better than nothing. The duty of 
an officer is ten times as hard as it would be if the men 
were cloathed ; to keep up that discipline which is neces- 
sary we want it in our power to say to them, are you not 
cloathed, fed & paid? But now we cannot, for the 
fact is entirely the reverse. The tractable disposition of 
the troops is the only way to account for that degree of 
discipline which is establishd. The sufferings of the 
soldiers for want oi cloathing is a great grievance. But 

1778.] RETUKN J. MEIGS. oil 

the capital greivance is the trifling value of their wages, 
occasioned by the depreciation of our currency. The 
Assembly have been very generous towards the soldiers 
family's. But that dont extend to more than one fifth 
of the army. I am very sure that at this juncture it will 
not do to refer the matter to Congress. To urge to the 
soldier the necessity of keeping up an army & painting 
to them the awful) consequences of disbanding, to them- 
selves & to their country, the great difficulties the coun- 
try labours under in procuring supplys, &c., will not be 
motives sufficient to keep them easy, while they are con- 
vinced that the country is able to relieve them. If the 
troops should mutiny before they receive redress, they 
may take it in their heads, that whatever is done for 
them afterwards was done in consequence of their mu- 
tiny [ioni] may in f[ut]ure have recourse to the same 
scandalous expedient. What mode can be adopted for 
[providing?] what is justly due to the army I cannot 
tell. 1 don't believe it possible to reduce the matter to 
certainty. I had thought that w~e might endeavor to 
estimate how much money the soldier expended at the 
State Commissary's for refreshments & cloathing p r 
month, & how much money had been expended for 
provisions at home at the stated prices, & any other 
advantage of that kind they may have had, & make a 
deduction from their monthly pay, k then see what part 
of their wages to calculate the depreciation upon. The 
depreciation in 77 was much less than in 78. I am con- 
vinced that its impossible to calculate the matter with 
precision, but giving the matter a form of an estimation 
will stop all complaints. Some doubtless estimate their 
loss too high. I never did make any estimate. But at 
present it appears to me that there is about two years 
pay due to the army. I have never made myself very 
uneasy on my own account & dont desire that my opinion 
should influence any body. Sir, you will pardon me this 



long scroll, while you know that I am, with the greatest 
respect & esteem, your obed\ servant. 

R. J. iMEIGS. 

Indorsed : Dec r 26, 1778. Col Meigs to the Hon bl ° Titus llosmer, Esq r , 
de the affairs of the soldiers. 


Philadelphia, January 4 th , 1779. 

Sir, — We had the honor of your favor of the 8 th 
Decemb r by Brown, who arrived here about the 20 th . 
Congress was then deeply engaged in the matter of 
finance, and in taking measures, at least to give some 
check to the rapid course of depreciation of their paper 
currenc}', to releive its sinking credit and possibly gradu- 
ally to appreciate its value. A portion of every day was 
set apart for that purpose, and was not closed till Satur- 
day night last. We thought it prudent to detain Brown 
till we could transmit to you the proceedings of Congress 
on that subject, lest his return without any intelligence 
might fix the impression on the minds of the people that 
Congress was only amusing them with bare pretences, 
while in fact they meant to have the bills die in the 
possessors' hands. We are happy that it is now in our 
power to transmit to your Excellency such resolutions of 
Congress as we hope will wholly remove those impres- 
sions, and as by the co-operation of the people and the 
blessing of God will give permanent credit to our bills, 
and furnish us still with the means of our defence. The 
measures at present adopted relative thereto are here- 
with transmitted, which renders it needless to point out 
the same in this letter, — possibly some other measures 
may be taken to restore commutative justice among the 

* Printed from .he copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


Your letter and the petition of the officers in the Con- 
necticut line to our Assembly have been laid before Con- 
gress, and referred to a committee who have not yet 
made their report. Possibly the Assembly will not think 
it proper to proceed any further on that subject than to 
make some reasonable provision for the support of their 
families, in the manner already proposed, untill they 
hear further from Congress on that head, which we hope 
will be in a few days. Indeed the officers and soldiers in 
the army seem to be in many respects on the same foot- 
ing with our salary men, orphans, widows, &c, and hope 
some measures may soon be taken which will operate to 
the administring justice to the whole, as near as these 
calamitous times will possibly admit of. 

A foreign loan is in contemplation, but how soon it 
may be effected is at present uncertain. By the best 
information we can obtain, the several, or most of the 
States in the union have taken measures to fund their 
own bills, and have paid and are now paying in the 
several taxes apportioned to them the last year, and all 
seem inclined to tax as high as possible. 

You enquire, Sir, wdiy the Articles of Confederation 
are not concluded. We have only to answer that the 
States of Maryland and Delaware have not yet acceded, 
and we are waiting with impatience for their union, and 
as the Articles drawn comprehend the thirteen States 
jointly it is at least a doubt whether the assent already 
gained from eleven States is not founded on the joint con- 
sent of the whole thirteen, and unless the remaining two 
join the whole is void, and will make it necessary to 
send back to each State for their approbation if no more 
than eleven States unite in the Confederation, which 
would take up much time, beside the inconvenience 
which might attend, therefore are still waiting in hopes 
of the compliance of the other two. 

As to what is done in consequence of the circular let- 


ters sent out b} T the committee to superintend the Com- 
.missary's and Quarter Master Department are not able to 
acquaint you, as the committee have not made any re- 
port. Therefore must refer to M r Sherman, who is one 
of that committee, for intelligence on that head. 

The unhappy situation of our western frontiers, as well 
as those of New York, are truly melancholy, and demand 
the greatest attention, both as it respects the present in- 
habitants, former settlers, and the supplies derived from 
them. The Board of War have reported an addition to 
Col Hartley's regiment, who is a worthy, spirited, and 
attentive officer, and now on the frontier part at Wyo- 
ming. We hope further additions will be made for their 
defence. General Washington is now in town, on the 
request of Congress, and a committee appointed to con- 
fer with him on the subject of any new or future opera- 
tions, and hope something to effect will soon be done. 

M r Dean has been fully heard by Congress, to the ut- 
most of his wishes, but by reason of the pressure of other 
important business nothing is decided respecting him or 
his negociations. We know not of any fault in the de- 
lay ; the late publications are rather premature and 
unhappy, as we conceive no good will be derived from 
them, or useful instruction. 

January the 5 th , — We have been obliged to detain 
Brown to this day, to have the quotas of the several States 
affixed for their present proportion of the fifteen millions 
dollars tax for this year, in which is apportioned to Con- 
necticut 1,700,000, — large indeed in sound, but hope 
may not prove disagreeable, when it is considered with 
how much more ease so large a sum may be now paid 
than a much less in future, and that what they overpay 
now will be allowed to their account, and diminish our 
proportion of those which will succeed, beside an interest 
on the overplus in the same manner as that recommended 
the last year. We have transmitted to your Excellency 

17 79.] EBENEZER LED YARD. 331 

the copies of the resolutions of Congress on these mat- 
ters, with the quotas affixed to each State, and though 
through the diversity of the circumstances and interest 
of individuals, a variety of opinions may be formed, yet 
we hope they will be received with candor, prove in 
general satisfactory, and that every one will endeavour 
to promote the great and good ends therein designed. 
Are, with the greatest esteem & respect, 

Your Excellency's most obec?, hble. servants. 

Eliph t Dyer. 

Oliver Elsworth. 

Jesse Root. 

Gov r Trumbull. 


His Excellency Jonath" Trumbull, Esq r , Governor of the State of 
Con?iecticutt, now att Hartford. 

Groton, 12 Jan?, 1779. 
To his Excellency Jonath* Trumbull, Esq e . 

Sir, — Agreable to your Excellency's order to M r Shaw 
to have the poor prisoners that were landed here from N. 
York taken good care of, we rec d 52, most of them sick 
with fevers, mortified feet, &c. We got them into dif- 
ferent houses on this bank and did everything in our 
power to make them comfortable, & in the violent cold 
snowstorm they began to brake out with the smallpox, 
which oblig' 1 us to move them as first as they broak out; 
at the same time every family that had taken any of the 
prisoners were taken down with the fever, likwise every 
nurse, which oblig d us to remove the sick prisoners from 

* Ebenezer Ledyard wa9 the eldest brother of Col. William Ledyard, and " was a ship 
owner and West India merchant of wealth and influence." His losses by the burning of 
Groton far exceeded those of any other person. He was often a delegate to the General 
Amenably from Groton, and during part of the war was a commissary at that place. Sec 
The liattie of Groton Heights, p. 257. —Eds. 


every house & get fresh nourses. The families that took 
in the sick people were all needy people, and we are now 
oblig' 1 to provide doctors, nurses & every other thing for 
them. Indeed the bank is a general hospittal, only my- 
self k brother remains clear of the fever out of the num- 
ber that has been exposed with the prisoners. The 
authority of this town have not had the smallpox, dare 
not come to our assistance ; indeed those persons that 
have had the small pox keep away on acco t of the fever. 
We have removed all the prisoners that broke out with 
the smallpox, and were incouraged to think that the in- 
habitants wold not have it, but this day two of the per- 
sons that took in prisoners broke out, and I expect a 
great number to have it. Six of the prisoners are dead 
on this side, two with smallpox and four with the fever. 
I find much difficulty to get supplys. My flour is all- 
most out, expect a load from the westward soone. I dont 
know what could been done here to support the sol- 
diers & those poor prisoners, if your Excellency had not 
enabled us to get flower from N. York State. We 
are oblig d to shift everyone of the prisoners' cloths, to 
make them comfortable and get them prepared to goe 
home as fast as they get strength. Many of their friends 
have brought horses for them. We have got most of 
those now left in a fair way to get well. Our greatest 
fears is now for the poor inhabitants, but shall doe 
everything in our power to prevent the smallpox from 
spreading. One of my sons is very ill with the fever; it 
is of the spoted kind. People are very loth to come into 
nurse. I waited on the authority & selectmen yesterday, 
& desired them to press nurses & send them to me; they 
engaged to doe it. The market people have stoped com- 
ing in, that we cant get fresh meat. 

I am, with due respect, your Excellency's 

most obedient, humb e s*. 

Ebenez* Ledyard. 

1779.] SAMUEL ELIOT. JR. 333 

P. S. We have lost but one of our inhabitants yet 
with the fever; but many lays very dangerous. Scarce 
a house but has more or less down with the fever on this 
bank & it begins to spread more back in the town. 

E. L. 

Indorsed : 12 th Jan*, 1778[9]. Eben r Ledyard, Esq r , de sickness bro't by 
prisoners, &c, rec d 10 th ins 1 . 


Fublick Service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r ,in 
Hartford. Fav d by M r Torrey. 

Boston, January 22, 1779. 

Hon d SrR, — I embrace the opportunity of M* Torrey \s 
return (to Jona. Trumbull, Jun r , Esq 1 ) of forwarding the 
sum of one thousand eight hundred pounds, in Continen- 
tal currency, & one hundred & fifty dollars in specie, for 
the use of the State of Connecticut, to be paid to you on 
your order. The sum in Continental money would have 
been much larger, but (for the present) I thought it best 
to defer it, at least until! I hear from your Excellency. 
The stoppage of the emissions of May 20, 1777, & April 
11 th , 17 78, has put us into some confusion, & untill the re- 
port of the Committee of both houses of Assembly is made 
known (which will be on the morrow) the emissions 
remain on hand as so much dead stock ; should they 
report in favor of its passing until the 1 st of June, I shall 
immediately exchange & forward what I have upon hand, 
my being unacquainted with what your State have done, 
or intend to do, will, I hope, be an excuse for my troubling 
you upon it. 

The long & unhappy law-suit, (with Capt. John Brad- 
ford, Continental Agent) respecting the three transports 
taken by Capt. Harding in the brigg Defence, in Boston 
Bay, has taken up my whole attention from the 3 d in- 


s&ant. It is some satisfaction to me, that a prospect 
opens of having the affair adjusted in an equitable man- 
ner. Some of the judges have assured me it shall cer- 
tainly be brought on this term. In my last letter to 
your Excellency I mentioned the repeated desire of the 
Board of War of this State, of payment of flour borrowed 
for the use of the 0. Cromwell & Defence. I now beg 
leave to acquaint you, that this State, by their Commis- 
sary, Daniel Davis, Esq 2 ", took of Capt. Eeid out of the 
Med way prize, for the use of the troops belonging to 
this State, a quantity of bread. I have petitioned the 
Court for permission to transfer the quantity so taken, 
"which will be a help to me, & believe I shall be able to 
cancel my debt with abotit two tons. M r Torrey is paid 
for conveying the money to Connecticut by me. 
1 have the honor to be, 

Your dutiful & obedient servt. 

Sam. Eliot, Jun b . 

Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 22 Jan^, 1779, Sam 1 Eliot, Jun r , Esq r . Receipts. Petition to 
y e Assembly. Rec d at Hartford. 


The Honble. The General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, now 
sitting at Hartford. 

Providence, Jan r / 23 rd , 1779. 

May it please your Honors, — To permit us to lay 
before you the humble supplications of eleven hundred 

* At the session of the General Assembly of Rhode Island in October, 177S, it was 
"voted and resolved, that Capt. Peleq Clarke, Mr. Nathaniel Mumford." and sixteen 
other persons, most or all of whom had probably been driven from their homes, "• be a 
committee, to take a regular list of all persons and their families, who have already come 
off, from Rhode Island; and particularly, of such as need assistance for support, and make 
returns to the General Assembly or council of war, from time to time, of their names, ami 
in what towns thev are received. That the said committee solicit donations from the charic- 


distressed inhabitants of the Town of Newport, many of 
whom were in affluent, and almost all in comfortable, 
livings, who have been obliged to leave their habita- 
tions, and all the property they were possessed of, in the 
hands of the enemy, and are now become wretched wan- 
derers, without any place of abode, or means of subsist- 
ence but what they can collect from the charity of the 
good people of this Town, who, tho' well disposed, kind, 
and generous, have it not in their power to give but a 
small, a very small, part of the relief necessary for so 
large a number of unhappy sufferers ; especially as they 
have no small number of their own poor to support. 
And the long blockade of the port renders it extremely 
difficult for the artificer to get employ. It would soften 
the most obdurate heart into sympathetic feeling to be- 
hold old a^e and childhood tottering: thro' these streets 
in their tattered habiliments, seeking bread in this in- 
clement season, chilled with nipping frost, and debilitated 
with want of food and fuel. We are sorry to say, that 
we want words to express the forlorn, calamitous situa- 
tion of these miserable people. 

We having been appointed by the Legislature of this 
State, a Committee, with a number of others not pres- 
ent, to receive such donations as the generous and charit- 
able are pleased to bestow for their relief, would beg 
lieve to lay before your Honors the present unhappy 
circumstances of those miserable people and to sollicit 

able inhabitants of our sister states, and other well disposed persons, and distribute what 
they can by that mean? collect, as well as what may be granted by this General Assembly, 
from time to time, as equitably as they can, to the several town council? of the towns where 
our suffering brethren may reside, to be delivered out to them under their direction, and 
according to their necessities. And it is hereby most earnestly recommended to the town 
councils of the several towns within this state, as soon as may bs, after tiie rising of this 
Assembly, to transmit to Capt. Teleg Clarke, late of Xewport. now residing at Providence, 
an account of what numbers of the inhabitants aforesaid, there are now residing in their 
respective towns, and what numbers more they can comfortably accommodate with dwell- 
ing-place? during the coming winter; on receipt of which, from any town, the said commit- 
tee shall assist in removing so many as they think proper to such town, as soon as possible." 
See U'uode Island Col. Records, vol. viii. pp. 474, 475. — Eds. 


your Honors to afford them such a supply as you may 
think it convenient to bestow ; and to join with the 
Rouble. Jabez Bowen, Esq r , and M r President Manning, 
the Committee from this State who wait on your Honors, 
in entreating permission for a quantity of grain to be 
purchased and bro't out of your State into this, by Cap* 
Pel eg Clarke, who is Chairman of the Committee to re- 
ceive the donations, & who waits on your Honors with 
this, and with design, if your Honors' permission be 
obtained, to purchase a quantity of corn with the moneys 
received by the charitable contributions of this and the 
Massachusetts State. 

Your Honors may depend that whatever you may 
think proper to bestow will be faithfully applied to the 
use it is designed for ; and if the permission be granted 
no manner of abuse shall be made of it by us. 

Such liberalities when bestowed on proper objects, as 
those of the present occasion, must be pleasing in the 
sight of Him who delights in the person who feeds the 
hungry and cloaths the naked. Such, we do assure 
your Honors, are the people in whose behalf this solicita- 
tion is made, by 

Your Honors' most obedient 

& most hble serv ta . 

Peleg Clarke. 
Nath l Mumford. 

The Honble. The General Assembly, 
State of Connecticut. 

Indorsed : Jan* 23 d , 1779. Committee of the State of Rhode Island de 
Poor of s d State. 



To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Ess/, in Connecticut. 
P favor Caj>t n Swain. 

Nantucket, 20 th 1 st m°, 1779. 

Respected Sir, — ■ It may seem odd to your Excellency 
my presuming to address yon, but did you know our dis- 
tresses I believe you would excuse the presumption. The 
scarcity of provision in this town is such that many fami- 
lies, heretofore good livers, have not a week's provision 
including roots. Your Excellency must be sensible the 
embargo effects this island's inhabitants more than any 
people of these States. What has hastened oar calamity, 
the late great snow storm drove into the sea & smothered 
half, more or less, of the sheep we depended on ; be as- 
sured it is maloncholy with us to look on our children. I 
have live, they no mother, I condole with you, feelingly 
for your losses, I was no stranger to your last, since I had 
your vessel which foundered at sea. We have belonging 
to this place several boats & small vessels in your State ; 
pray use your influence for their dispatch to our relief, 
that we may not fare worse than our country's enemies 
(the Saratoga Convention British troops). I conclud from 
troubling you, hoping it will be in your power to be instru- 
mental to relieve the distresses of hundreds & particular 
your hitherto obliged, 

Nathaniel Coffin. 

P. S. Pray my love to Jonathan & respects to all the 




To His Excellency Governour Trumbull, at Hartford. 

New London, Jan^ 27, 1779. 

Sir, — I am put to the disagreable necessity of troub- 
ling your Excellency for your advice with respect to the 
present mode of seizing flour. 

The present set of assistant purchasing commissarys on 
the Continental establishment seem to take the matter for 
granted that they have an undoubted right to take away 
what flour they can come at purchased by the Commissarys 
of the State, but by what rule or law, I do not know ; I do 
not know of any law in this State which authorizes any 
Continental! commissary to seize provisions from the State 
commis 7 . If I am wrong, I must beg to be better inform' 1 
by your Excellency. If the Continental! purchasers pur- 
sue their present mode, I must be oblig d to quitt purchasing, 
as any petty purchaser under a Con tinen tall commissary 
will seize the provision & make null & void any appoint- 
ment under or from the State of Connecticut, or any ap- 
pointment from your Excellency. I have inclosed your 
Excellency a letter from M r Brooks who had purchased 
some flour for my [me ?] by a certificate from me as com- 
miss y for use of the troops here, which was purchased in 
this State, in which he informs of the seizure .by M r Sil- 
leck. I would wish to have your Excellency's opinion 
whither M r Siilick is not liable to prosecution for damages 

* Edward Hallam was appointed by the Governor and Council of Connecticut commis- 
sary to the troops at New London July 17, 1777. (See Public Records of Connecticut, Oct., 
1776- Feb., 1778, p. 351.) In November, 1779, complaints were "exhibited against him for 
unfaithfulness in his department in sundry respects," and the Board, after a hearing on the 
21th. recorded its "opinion, that the said Hallam is guilty of having too much neglected his 
duty in the matters complained of, in several instances, to the disadvantage of the public 
interest, probably owing in good measure to his being engaged and involved in multipli- 
city of other businesses ; and the said Hallam willing and moving to resign and be released 
from said office of assistant commissary of issues, his resignation is therefore accepted, and 
he is accordingly releas'd and dismissed from his said oiliee of assistant commissary of 
issues from and after the last lay of Nov* inst." Sec Public Records of Connecticut, May, 
1778-Apr., 1780, pp. 442, 413. — Eds. 

1779.] ISRAEL PUTNAM. 330 

at Common Law. Unless some method prevents such 
measures it will be absolutely impossible ever to supply 
any troops here in future. Submitting the matter to 
your Excellency. 

I am your Excellency's 

most hb 1 & ob* serv*. 

Edward Hallam. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 27 th Jan>', 1779. M r Edward Hallam, de Flour, inclosing 
Brook's Let r . 


Camp at Reading, Jan 1 "*, 1779. 

Dear Sir, — From yours of the 8 th ult° & the Resolu- 
tion inclosed therein, I learnd that the further consider- 
ation of the Memorial of the officers of the Connecticut 
line, in behalf of themselves, & the soldiers under their 
command, was adjourned with the Assembly, which, I ap- 
prehend, will accordingly be resum'd early in the present 

But before a final determination is made on a matter 
so interesting & momentuous to the army & the public, 
in its consequence, it was judged necessary that the real 
state of facts should be known, and every thing brought 
into view, which may serve to illustrate the object of 

I have, therefore, at the instance of all the officers of 
the line, thought proper that the ITon ble Brigadier General 
Parsons and Huntington, together with Colonels Bradly 
& Meigs, & Capt Judd should be present, during the agi- 
tating of this important subject, and desire that full atten- 
tion & faith may be given to the representations which will 
be made by them. 

These gentlemen, or such of them who shall attend, 
will lay before the Assembly an estimate of the loss sus- 


tallied by the troops of this State, in consequence of the 
inhanced price of all the necessary articles of life, & the 
unequal value of their pay to what it was at the time of 
their en "agin" in the service ; together with a calcula- 
tion of the partial compensation which has been made by 
the supplies granted by the State, and what in reallity 
still remains due to them ; with any other information, 
which may afford light & satisfaction in the course of the 

Inclosed, your Excellency will observe a return of the 
supernumerary officers of the Connecticut line who were 
omitted in the late arrangement, to whom Congress 
have resolved, that a year's pay shall be given, and have 
earnestly recommended it to the respective States to 
which they belong to make such other provision for 
them as their circumstances & merit entitle them to. 

I have nothing further to add, but my sincere wish that 
justice may be done to the troops, in which case I do not 
entertain the least doubt but that they will fullfill the 
engagement on their part w T ith fidelity, will continue to 
do their duty as brave & faithfull soldiers, in defence of 
their injured country, with reputation to themselves & 
honour to the State. 

1 am, with the highest esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant. 

Israel Putnam. 

To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Jan^, 1779. Maj r General Putnam, de Petition of the Officers 
& Soldiers of Connecticut Line. 


State of Rhode Island, &c, Warwick, January, 1779. 
Sir, —The distressed situation of some parts of this 
State, occasioned by the scarcity of bread corn, which is 
increasing in an alarming manner, arising from the opera- 

1779.] WILLIAM GREENE. 341 

tions of the war. must be an apology for the General As- 
sembly's again addressing your Excellency upon the 
subject of the embargo in your State, which prevents 
an}' supplies of that article coming from thence into this. 

Uncontroulable necessity obliges us to apply to your 
Excellency for relief. We address you as presiding over 
a sister State, in friendly alliance ; and we hope to be 
beared with the candour and indulgence due from one 
confederate State to another. 

Commiseration or pity for those in distress is one of the 
noblest characteristicks of a brave and generous people, 
and the dictates of humanity will always urge the grant- 
ing relief as soon as the mind is convinced that the object 
in distress deserves compassion. We therefore conclude 
that the reason why the embargo has been continued 
against us, after repeated applications to your State on 
the subject, must be, that you have not been convinced 
of the reality of the distress of some parts of our State 
occasioned thereby. For we are satisfied that could you 
behold the great number of inhabitants among us, more 
especially in our seaport towns, who have neither bread 
or corn and know not where to procure it, that we 
should want no other argument than that of humanity to 
induce your Legislature to repeal an Act which occasions 
such great distress in a sister State, or at least to permit 
our people to purchase in your State a quantity of corn 
sufficient in some measure to alleviate their wants. 

We can hardly bring ourselves to immagin[e] that the 
fertile and plentiful State of Connecticut, when they laid 
an embargo preventing the exportation of grain, had it 
even in apprehension that a confederate sister State, 
bearing the more immediate burthen of the war, would 
be thereby distressed. And when we consider our selves 
as engaged in the same common cause, for the support 
and defence of the same common rights and liberties, in 
a contest equally beneficial to every State, and that our 


exertions and sufferings, in the war, have been greater, 
as we conceive, in proportion to our strength and abili- 
ties than those of any of the States, we are at a loss what 
construction to put upon an act which prohibits our 
receiving the means of subsistance and has a tendency to 
introduce a famine among us. We cannot but consider 
it as a measure very alarming to us and fatal in its con- 
sequences, and are ready to doubt whether it does not 
militate against the spirit of the 4 th Article of the Con- 
federation which declares that " The People of each State 
shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other 
State and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade 
and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and 
restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively." 

All embargoes interrupt the natural commercial inter- 
course of mankind. And when an embargo upon the 
necessaries of life brings a famine or a scarcity near to a 
famine upon a people against whom war is not declared, 
a query will justly arise whether the principles upon 
which it is founded are just and consonant to the immut- 
able laws of nature and justice. The great Baron Puffen- 
dorf in his Law of Nature and Nations observes, — " That 
as trade and commerce highly promote the interest of all 
nations, by supplying the unkindness of the soil, which is 
not every where alike fertile, and by making those fruits 
seem to be borne in all places of the world which are to 
be found in any one ; so it cannot be less than inhumanity 
to deny to any son of the earth the use of those good 
things which our common mother affords for our support, 
provided our peculiar right and propriety be not injured 
by such a favour : And therefore the Megarensians, as 
mentioned by Plutarch, when the Athenians had forbid- 
den them entrance to all their ports and mart-town-, 
complained that this was done, rrapa ra kolpol Swcaia, con- 
trary to the Law of Nations." 

Our situation is perhaps somewhat similar to that of 

1779.] WILLIAM GREENE. 343 

the good old patriarch Jacob and his numerous family (a 
little Republic) when he sent into Egypt to buy a supply 
of corn, saving in this that he found no embargo to pre- 
vent his purchase. For we find that notwithstanding 
Pharaoh and Joseph the rulers of the country well knew 
that the famine was to last seven years and that even 
Egypt, their own country, would be reduced to sore dis- 
tress and famine, yet we read, ' ; That all countries came 
into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn, and he it was that 
sold to all the people of the land." 

Holy Writ every where recommends a particular at- 
tention to the cries of the distressed, and in a special 
manner injoins a capital rule, perhaps equally binding on 
Confederate States as individuals. 

It is well known that this State, before these troubles, 
never raised a sufficiency of bread for its inhabitants. 
But then we felt no disadvantage on that account, for 
while blessed with undisturbed commerce that necessary 
article flowed in plentifully upon us. Our trade to the 
West Indias and other parts of the world procured us 
articles with which we purchased very large quantities 
of flour and bread corn which we annually imported 
from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and 
Connecticut. The towns of Newport and Providence 
almost wholly received their bread from the other States, 
as did also several other of our populous villages on the 
shores. But, alas ! what a sad contrast do we now ex- 
perience ! After having our capital taken and now 
almost ruined by a relentless enemy, who have now pos- 
session of one fifth part of our State, we have for two 
years past had all our harbours blockaded and have been 
obliged to keep in the field, by draughts from the militia 
and otherwise, a much larger proportion of our inhabi- 
tants than has been done by the States in general, we 
having now in service three regiments of troops besides 
our Continental battalions. Our agriculture, which be- 


fore did not furnish the State with near the necessary 
quan[ti]ty of corn, has hereby been unavoidably dimin- 
ished. And the last year the memorable storm in August 
(during the expedition in which the whole of our inhabi- 
tants were called into service and could not take care of 
their fields.) injured the corn we had planted to that 
degree that it has fallen far short of the usual crop. 

And to accumulate our misery, we are obliged to be- 
hold ihat of a very considerable part of the inhabitants of 
Rhode Island, who after being rendered destitute and 
forlorn have been driven from their homes by a cruel 
enemy and thrown upon us without the means of sub- 
sistance. Upwards of a thousand of the late inhabitants 
of Newport, who heretofore lived comfortably and hap- 
pily, are now in the town of Providence, the greatest 
part of whom depend on charity. To behold their dis- 
tress and hear their cries and not have it in our power to 
furnish them even with bread corn, that necessary article 
of life, is a scene truly melancholy and enough to melt 
the hardest heart. Especially when we consider that it 
is declared " That whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of 
the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be 
heared." We intreat your Excellency to consider a real 
fact, that many families in that town are already ren- 
dered intirely destitute, and others, by the pinching hand 
of want, are reduced to the necessity of being obliged, 
after having with great difficulty obtained a peck or half 
a peck of meal, to allowance it out in scanty portions to 
their moaning children, under an apprehension that when 
that is gone they can get no more. 

Such is our distressed and deplorable situation owing 
principally to the embargoes which prevent our receiv- 
ing supplies. And if the embargo in Connecticut is still 
continued against us we a^*e under the melancholy ap- 
prehension of having numbers of our people perish for 
want of the necessaries of life. 

1779.] EZHA STILES. 345 

We therefore intreat your Excellency to lay this mat- 
ter before the Legislative authority or Council of your 
State and request them to repeal the embargo act which 
occasions such great distress to our people, at least so 
far as prevents the exportation of any articles into this 
State by land or, if this request cannot be complied with, 
that some other mode may be pointed out for our relief 
such as they would wish to have in similar circumstances. 

We hope your Excellency will excuse the length of 
our letter. The pressing importance of the subject has 
obliged us to be more particular than perhaps we should 
have been, was this the first application.* 

By order and in behalf of the General Assembly, I 
have the honor to be, with great esteem and respect, 
Your Excellency's 

most obedient, humble servant. 

W. Greene, Gov r . 


His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Governor of the State 
of Connecticutt. Hartford. Favored by M r Aticater. 

New Haven, Febry 2, 1779. 

Sir, — The Steward of the College has been everyway 
disappointed with respect to flour, so that it has become 

* At the session of the General Assembly of Connecticut, in January, 1779, " Upon the 
representation to this Assembly made by the Hon ble the General Assembly of the State of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, that the inhabitants thereof are in great want 
of some speedy supply of bread-corn: Resolved by this Assembly, that liberty be and the 
same is hereby granted to the inhabitants of that State to purchase in this State seven 
thousand bushels of grain, namely rye and indian corn, and the same transport to that 
State, the embargoes by land and water notwithstanding, under the following regulations. 
viz. : in the county of Hartford, 2500 bushels; in the county of New Haven, 1500 bushels; 
in the county of Litchfield, 1000 bushels ; in the county of Fairfield, 1500 bushels; in the 
county of Windham. 500 bushels; to be purchased by any one or two gentlemen appointed 
by the General Assembly or Governor and Council of Safety of that State and properly com- 
missioned for that purpose." See Public Records of Connecticut, May, 1788 -April, 1780, 
p. 1ST.— Eds. 

t Rev. Ezra Stiles, D.D., was born in New Haven, Conn., Nov. 29. 1727, and grad- 
uated at Yale College in 174G. After graduating he studied for the ministry, and for six 


impossible for us to receive the students.* I have there- 
fore extended the vacation to the 18 th instant. The only 
resource open to us is from an application to the Conti- 
nental or State stores. These therefore, by the Steward's 
son, wait upon your Excellency and the Coinittee of 
Safety, humbly requesting permission and order to re- 
ceive from the Comissary General or his under-comis- 
saries fifty or sixty bbls. of flour for the use of Yale College. 
We should receive this as a great favor ; and we should 
esteem it an additional favor, in case you should be pleased 
to grant our request, that the order or permit might be 
negotiable with any of the Cohiissaries near at hand, with- 
out sending to the Comsy General, whom we suppose to 
be at Philadelphia. With the greatest respect, I have 
the honor to be, 

Your Excellencj^'s most obedient, 

very humble servant. 

Ezra Stiles. 

His Excels Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 2 nd Feb*, 177D. Rev d D r Stiles, Pres*, de Flower for Colledge. 

years was a tutor in the College; "but religious doubts and an infirm state of health led 
him in 1752 to lay aside the idea of preaching and to take up a course of legal study, as a 
result of which he was admitted to the New Haven County bar in November, 1753." On 
the recovery of his health he decided to give up the practice of the law, and to enter 
actively on the work of the ministry In October, 1755, he was settled over the Second 
Congregational Church in Newport, R. I., where he remained until March, 1776, when, in 
consequence of the dispersion of his flock, he went to Dighton, Mass., and afterward to 
Portsmouth, N. II. There he supplied the pulpit of the First Church for about a year. In 
July, 177S, he was installed President of Yaie College, which office he held until his death, 
May 12, 1705. See Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Yale College, vol. ii. 
pp. 02-97. — Eds. 

* Dr. Stiles records in his diary, under date of Dec. 28. 1778, "The Steward being un- 
able to uphold Commons in the Hall, I found it necessary, and accordingly with the 
Advice of the Tutors I dismissed College, & the Students this Afternoon begun to return 
home. The Winter Vacation regularly begins the 2 nd Thursdy next month to continue 
for three Weeks." Jan. 20, 1779, " Waited upon his Excellency G^v. Trumbull. . . . 
Also to request of the Gov. his assistance of the Steward respect* flour from the Public 
Stores." Jan. 30, "Obliged to extend Vacation a fourt'night fr. 4 to 18 Febry." Feb. 
18. " Vacation ended. I set up orders at College, present 30 Students." See The Liter- 
ary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D., vol. ii. pp. 315, 316, 320, 321. — Eds. 



Philadelphia, Feb? 11, 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — Your first en- 
quiry, we presume, will be, how goes on Confederation? 
We have the pleasure to inform you that Jersey and Dela- 
ware have acceded, and Maryland alone stands out. Her 
reasons for it we enclose to you; and whether we shall 
send to all the States for their consent to a Confederation 
of twelve, or wait for Maryland to consider better of it 
and accede, will be the most expeditious and prudent 
method of bringing this important business to a close, is 
the question. 

Recruiting, providing for, arranging, and paying the 
army have long engaged the attention of Congress. 
These are all important objects, and notwithstanding the 
present deranged state of our foreign affairs and internal 
resources, and the reduced condition of our finances, we 
hope and trust that such wise measures will be adopted 
and supported by the united exertions of the several 
States as will, through the smiles of Heaven, put them 
upon a firm and respectable footing. The committee 
appointed to confer with General Washington on this 
business have prepared a number of resolutions to lay 
before Congress, which when passed we shall embrace the 
earliest opportunity to transmit to your Excellency. 

The resolution passed upon the representation from the 
State of Rhode Island of their inhabitants being likely to 
famish through the operation of the land embargo in Con- 
necticut has been transmitted by the President. 

Although M r Dean has long since been heard on his 
agency abroad, yet his affairs remain undecided upon. 

• Printed from the copy in Trumbull's Letter Book. — Eds. 


A committee is appointed to look through them, in order 
to bring them to a proper and speedy issue. 

The misunderstanding which subsisted amongst our 
commissioners when abroad, and the unfavorable insinua- 
tions given respecting the merit of each other have ex- 
cited (to say no more) the caution of Congress, at least 
of many of the members in regard to their transactions 
abroad. M r Dean's publication and the reply of Common 
Sense, particularly that part which asserted that he had 
in his hands a letter which shewed that the supplies M r 
Dean so pompously plumed himself upon were all prom- 
ised and engaged, and that as a present, before his arrival 
in France, &e., proved a source of great embarrassment 
and difficulty, alarmed the French embassador for the 
interest and reputation of his Court, which he con- 
sidered would be disagreeably affected thereby. He 
remonstrated to Congress on the subject, who passed 
a resolve that those supplies were received in the 
way of trade, and not as a present from the Court of 

We doubt not but it will appear that M r Dean has done 
much for and deserved much of his country, and that he 
will be properly considered. 

The king's speech, with debates in Parliament as far 
as they have come to hand, the latest advices from the 
southward and West Indies, and the unhappy controversy 
that has arisen between the President and Council of this 
State and General Arnold are contained in the enclosed 
newspaper, to which we refer you. 

The rate of exchange for bills on France, as sold by 
M' Holker, their agent, is £900 Continental money for 
£100 sterling;. 

Authentic intelligence has been received in Congress 
from Europe of high importance, and in appearance far 
from being unfavorable to America, which we are not at 
liberty to communicate at present. 

1779.] SILAS DEANE. 340 

With the highest esteem & respect, we have the honor 
to be 
Your Excellency's most obedient and most hble. servants. 

Elipiialet Dyer. 

Oliver Ellsworth. 

Jesse Root. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Philadelphia, 13 th Feb*, 1779. 
Governor Trumbull; 

Sir, — I flattered myself when I wrote you last, that 
before this I should have closed my affairs in this City, 
but am still detained, and the slowness with which every 
thing of any importance proceeds almost discourages me 
and would put me beyond all patience, were it not that 
the prospect before us takes up my attention in a great 
measure. This, though it diverts my attention, increases 
my anxiety and distress. I will not trouble you, or any 
of my friends, with my particular affairs, while those of 
infinitely greater importance press so hard upon us. You 
have seen the King of Gr. Brittain's speech and the de- 
bates on it, & that the majority is as usual with the 
Minister, with this difference only that though the mi- 
nority wish to displace the Ministers, they agree in push- 
ing on the war, a very few excepted. This winter is now 
nearly spent, the negotiations between the armed & arm- 
ing powers in Europe have been very important, and 
nearly interesting to these States, yet so far have we 
been from having any voice or influence in them that no 
measures have been taken even to know what they are, 
and the first knowledge we have, or probably shall have, 
of them will be from our enemies. All thoughts of con- 
quest seem to be laid aside, and a new doctrine advanced 



which is, that if we will not accept the offers of accom- 
modation and friendship, they will reduce and distress 
ns to such a degree that our friendship will be of little or 
no service to others; on this diabolical principle the 
operations of the opening campaign will be carried on. 
I know it is generally & almost universally supposed 
here, that no reinforcements will be sent over. Our 
enemies on the contrary threaten us with numerous bodies 
of Russians, &c, I am well convinced, neither they nor 
we are in the right as to their reinforcements, but it is 
peculiarly unfortunate that their threatnings should in- 
crease our security & inattention. I will hazard my 
opinion on the subject ; I shall be happy if events prove 
me to have been deceived. A reinforcement will be sent 
over to New York sufficient to recruit, and even to add 
to the established forces already there ; a force of some 
consequence will be sent into Canada; the frigates & 
light cruisers will be greatly increased on our coasts, and 
a predatory war will be carried on, both on our frontiers 
& sea coasts, plundering or destroying whatever comes 
in their way, whilst at New York & Newport they will 
keep a body sufficient to fix the attention of all our 
regular forces. This mode of carrying on the war, our 
enemies flatter themselves will, with the low & sinking 
state of our money, the great & universal derangement 
which prevails in every one of our Executive Depart- 
ments, effect their purposes. By accounts from Europe 
the English stocks have risen nearly six pr. ct, on an 
average since the declaration of France in our favor, and 
to the surprise of almost every one the Minister seems 
to find little difficulty in raising money. The spirit for 
reprisals on the French commerce is raised high by the 
success they have met with. They have a fleet in Europe 
equal if not superior to France, in the AVest Indies they 
at present appear to have a superiority. The failures 
in their commerce and manufactures, tho' not so con- 

1779.] SILAS DEAXE. 351 

siderable as was expected, helps the Minister for the 
present, both to men and money. Unemployed trades- 
men turn soldiers, and timorous monied men put their 
money into the stocks rather than risque it in trade. 
The raising therefore of men & money easity is not a 
proof of the real thriving state of the nation, but the con- 
trary, yet the consequences as to the war are much the 
same. France appears to be strengthning her marine, 
Sweden is about to assist her, Spain will probably join 
openly. This must turn the scale against England if 
effected in season, but if delayed any time, it is not so 
certain. The war or alliances on the continent of Europe 
do not appear so immediately to interest us, yet they 
must eventually affect us. Russia, Prussia, Denmark, 
and some of the lesser powers will probably take one side 
against Austria, the House of Bourbon, Sweden, and 
the Port on the other. There have been but few great 
wars in Europe, but that the first object has been lost 
sight of almost intirely in the course of the contest, and 
often wholly forgot at the pacification, and therefore I 
wish we may profit by reflecting on what has past in the 
world. I own to you I tremble for the consequences 
which our security, inattention, dissipation in the differ- 
ent Departments, & almost total loss of credit must 
produce. I am still more alarmed at the dangerous & 
destructive principle, which is unhappily prevailing in 
Congress and out, & which is that France having engaged 
with us must for her own interest carry us through. This 
is one cause of the dangerous security we have during 
the last six or eight months been gradually falling into ; 
it is one cause why vigorous, decisive, & expeditious 
measures are not adopted for the redemption of our 
credit, the providing supplies for our army, and for the 
proper arrangement of every department. Sorry I am 
to say that I know of no department at present well 
arranged ; not a member of Congress but will own the 


same, and lament over it, yet days and even weeks are 
spent in debates on subjects which scarcely merit one 
hour's serious attention ; when members of Congress ap- 
pear alarmed they quiet their fears & apprehensions with 
what alarms mine the most, France (say they) will help 
ns out. What has been the great object of this war ? 
Peace, liberty, & safety, which are only to be secured by 
our independance, and have we renounced all dependance 
on Great Brittain to become the dependant tributaries 
of another power? We never were so mad, yet to this, 
such a principle, & such a line of conduct as is at this 
moment pursued, visibly & inevitably leads. No man 
can have a higher opinion of the justice and public gen- 
erosity of France than I have, few individuals have ever 
had greater cause to respect & esteem that nation than 
I have, but I must adopt the sentiment of Brutus, when 
writing to Cicero, it is not a question, says that true son 
of Libertv, who shall be mv master, whither Anthonv, 
Octavius, or another, I will have no master. I will not 
with my consent suffer my country to be dependant on 
any nation under Heaven, and if weak & wicked men 
reduce us to that fatal necessity, I will retire from it for- 
ever and seek a distant retreat, where if possible I may 
forget what I have seen and done. It gives me pain 
greater than any private suffering or misfortune could 
occasion to view T the situation of our affairs as they act- 
ually are at this moment, and to look forward to the 
dreadful crisis to which they are rapidly hastening, with- 
out any effectual & consistent measures being taken to 
prevent it. Our paper has depreciated faster since the 
late resolutions of Congress, than in any preceeding 
period since its first emission, at least it is the case here 
and wherever I have heard from. It cannot lonu; be a 
secret that we have no supplies for our army engaged in 
Europe that ma} r be depended on. The little navigation 
we have is decreasing, whilst such is the state and man- 

1779.] SILAS DEAXE. 35 


agemcnt of our marine, that the enemies cruisers of six, 
eight or ten guns only, venture boldly into this bay and 
river, and very few of our vessels escape them. But I 
might write a volume without exhausting the affecting 
subject; it maybe thought impertinent in me to have 
said thus much ; it cannot be so, however, to look at the 
causes of these evils, & examine by what means they 
may be radically cured. I saw, pointed out, and pro- 
tested against the causes very early, when in Congress, 
& when they were but in their first stage. They have 
advanced since with the strides of a giant. The vesting 
the deliberative, legislative, and executive powers in the 
same body, was what appeared to me, at all times, as 
the last k most finished description of a defective, incon- 
sistent. & dangerous system of government ; — this and 
the neglecting to place our paper on proper & certain 
funds have been the radical causes of the evils we now 
complain of. It was impossible for members of Congress 
* j attend k assist in the great Council of these States, 
and at the same time pay the necessary attention to the 
executive departments ; hence neglect, frauds and pecula- 
tion of every kind escaped without notice or punishment, 
and the delinquent had it but too often in his power to 
recriminate, on the neglect & inattention of those who 
employed him. The not funding in season our paper was 
almost the sole cause of its depreciation, and an uncer- 
tain medium of commerce inevitably destroys all com- 
mercial confidence and strikes deep at the verj^ first 
principles of common honesty. The consequences are 
what we now experience, & what must forever naturally 
follow similar causes. The remedy of these evils is, I 
think, still in our power, how^ long they may be so, I 
know not, but if the present season is unimproved I think 
it will not long be so. Permit me to point out what they 
appear to me to be ; let there be proper boards appointed 
for everv executive branch of the business of these States, 



immediately under the inspection of and accountable to 
Congress. Congress will then be what they ought to be, 
the great deliberating Council of these States, and be at 
liberty to consult on great & general subjects only. Now, 
while our money is passing at twelve and even fifteen 
for one, & before it is engrossed by individuals, let there 
be a foreign loan negotiated and the paper bought up 
and cancelled. Ten million of dollars in silver would at 
this moment redeem the whole, and is it not better to 
have such a debt, which is nothing for these States to 
pay & cancel, than to have twelve times the sum against 
us for the payment of which our faith & honor are 
most solemnly pledged ? I have with freedom given you 
my thoughts on the general causes of our public evils & 
of the remedy. I am not silent on the subject here, 
every one appears to agree in the same sentiments with 
me, yet little or nothing is done or attempted. It affects 
me not a little to see so many valuable and spirited offi- 
cers disgusted and retiring from the service, and others 
persecuted with the most low & unrelenting virulence of 
party. Co 1 Oswald, whose character has been not only 
unimpeached, but high as a brave, steady, & intelligent 
officer, has been superceeded and forced to retire ; I 
think his case a hard one, and therefore mention it tho' 
but a private consideration in comparison with the great 
ones, which have been the subject of this long letter. I 
try at times to perswade myself that I look too much on 
the dark side of our affairs, and I shall be happy in being 
convinced by you, that it is really the case with me, and 
that things are better than I take them to be. 

General maxims and rules are commonly true, tho' 
they have their exceptions ; and there possibly may have 
been instances of States & nations acting desiumedlv from 
other motives than those of their own immediate interest 
and emolument, but they are as rarely to be met with in 
the history of the world as the most unnatural of all pro- 

1779.] SILAS DEANE. 355 

d notions whatever. Our alliance with France is ex- 
pressly founded on mutual interest; in consequence of 
this alliance, France is expending her blood & treasure 
in a war with England ; if so far from being able to assist 
her, we are b} T the mismanagement of our affairs reduced 
to call for substantial aid from her, without any prospect 
of an equivalent returned, the motive of interest ceases. 
If an equivalent is to be returned, what is it to be? It 
will be answered, our trade. But if our commerce is not 
to be free, we shall take on ourselves the very yoke we 
have been shaking off. And if our commerce is free, 
the best markets, let them be where they will, are sure 
to be preferred. Do not think I have the least distrust 
of our allies. I assure you on the contrary I have the 
fullest confidence in them, I esteem and respect them on 
every account, public as well as private. But my fears 
are of ourselves, arising from the dangerous situation in 
which we actually are, and the still more dangerous one 
which the present measures are plunging us into. 

Your time is precious in proportion to your abilities 
and long experience, and I know how industriously you 
improve every part of it, in the service of our country. 
This consideration, which might seem to demand an apol- 
ogy from me for intruding so far upon it, is what has on 
the other hand urged me to write largely & freely to you 
on this subject, hoping that I might throw out something 
which you may improve to public utility. Whatever 
may be the situation of public or private affairs, I shall 
ever consider myself honored by your friendship & corre- 
spondence, and ever remain, with much respect and 

Sir, your most obedient and very hum 6 serv*. 

Silas Deaxe. 

I have now but little prospect of leaving America be- 
fore May ; if in the meantime I can render you any 
services here I shall be happy to receive your commands. 


P. S. April 17 M . I wished (for I cannot say I had 
much grounds to hope) that I should before this have 
had good reasons for writing in a different manner; but 
the depreciation of our money has increased, and the 
dissipation & derangement in the different Departments 
continued rising in proportion. Congress every day be- 
comes more & more a changing body, the maioritv of its 
members have been changed repeatedly since the time of 
my being here. To have one sett of men to hear our 
cause and another to judge of it, is dangerous indeed for 
an individual ; it is more so for the public. I am against 
members holding their seats too Ions*. & prefer a rotation, 
but the rotation should be regular and general, or the 
worst of consequences must forever follow, as experience 
shews thev do at present. A delegate to Congress ouoht 
to be supported equal to the dignity and importance of 
his character, and be left without excuse for quitting his 
public trust, whilst the most important affairs are depend- 
ing, on any private considerations whatever. Three years 
is a period sufficiently long, nor is it too short, for a man 
to become master of the public affairs, but when some 
men attend regularly from one three years on to another, 
and by much the greater part of Congress cannot be in- 
duced to attend as many months at a time, must not such 
councils be fluctuating ? and can a stable, well ordered sys- 
tem of government, capable of giving energy and vigor to 
the remotest parts of a wide extended empire, be expected 
to rise from a body constantly changing its members? 
Such a practice (for I cannot call it either plan, or sys- 
tem) leaves full room for faction to those who constantly 
attend in their places ; and whilst it aims at comprehend- 
ing every branch, k to execute every department of 
government, can never effect anything great & essen- 
tially beneficial to the united empire. Co 1 Oswald will 
do himself the honor of delivering this, to whom I have 
given a small ace 1 paid by me since my return ; it is for 


papers I was ordered to procure in 1774 relating to the 
western lands. I received & forwarded them just before 
I left America, but the ace 1 was not then given me. I 
have desired Co 1 Oswald to receive the money on my 
ace 1 , and pray that he may be directed where he is to 
apply for the same. 


To His Excelency Jonathan Trumbull, Esrf, Governor & Com- 
mander In Chief in & over the State of Connecticut, and the 
Honourable the Councill of said State, — 

The Memorial! of the Selectmen of Plimouth, in the 
County of Plimouth & State of Massachusets Bay, hum- 
bly sheweth, that your Memorialists (as they have more 
than once intimated to your Excelency & Honours), on 
account of their scituation since the present war, have 
been & still are much distressed for want of provisions 
and bread in particular, and alltho thro your goodness 
we have severall times been much releaved with pro- 
visions from your State, for which the inhabitants of our 
town think themselves under verry great obligations to 
you, in special for what you allow d to be brought from your 
State to this town, in the little schooner Polley, Ephraim 
Bartlett master, a few weeks ago, which supply w r as 
verry seasonable, & a great releaf to many familys that 
had long been without bread, yet the quantity we rec d by 
s d schooner, being but a small supply for the many in- 
habitants of this town, has been consumed a considerable 
time since, and w T e are now in a verry malloncolly scit- 
uation, their being many families, (that in other respects 
are reall good livers,) that han't now, nor have not had 
for man} T tlavs, a epiart of bread corn in their houses, and 
know not where to gett any ; that being the scituation of 
people that are good circumstances for gett 8 a livelyhood, 
we leave you to judge what must be the scituation of a 


great many poor family s that even in better times could 
scarcely procure their bread from day to day. 

This being our scituation, alltho we are verry loth to 
be troublesom, we are impell d to most earnestly beg the 
favour of your Excelency & Honours, that you would 
permit our frind Cap* Ephraim Bartlett, of the schooner 
Lively, to bring a load of provision and such other arti- 
calls from your State as he may desire, bread corn in 
particular, which will be an inexpressable kindness to this 
town, the poor & needy in special. We beg leave to men- 
tion one circumstance that we have lately been informd 
of, viz*, that your Excelency & Honours have had great 
reason to fear that a considerable part of those provisions 
that you have been so good as to permit to be brought 
out of your State, for the necessary supplys of these East- 
ern States, has by designing men, enimies to our country, 
been carry d to our enimies on Rhode Island & else where, 
we beg leave hereby to assure you that you need not be 
under the least fears that our frind M r Ephraim Bartlett, 
or his owners, would act so base a part, both lie & they 
having given us the strongest assureances, even under 
their hands, that they will use every means in their 
power to geet to this town all the provisions that you 
may think proper to allow them to bring from your State. 
Relying on the humanity & goodness of your Excelency 
& Honours that you will grant our request, your Memo- 
rialist beg leave to subscribe themselves your oblig d & 
verry humble serv* 8 . 

Eph m Spooner, ^ 
William Crombie, I &k « mm 

James Drew, f . °' 

To A ,, c^™™ Plimouth. 


Plimouth, Feb^ 15 th , 1779. 

N. L., 9 th March, 79. 

Permit Cp* Bartlet to pass the Fort. 

Sam 1 H. Parsons, B. G. 

Indorsed : 15 th Feb*, 1779. Selectmen of Plimouth, de want of Grain, 
rec<i 29 tb March p Cap' Bartlet. 



To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, in Lebanon, Connecticut. 

Plymouth, February 15 th , 1779. 

Hon d Sir, — As the bearer Cap 1 Bartiett is bound to 
your parts for the purpose of procuring supplies of grain 
for the suffering & much distressed inhabitants of this 
town, and as I have the honour of a share in the acquaint- 
ance of your Excellency & worthy family, I have pre- 
sumed to address you on a subject so painfull to me that 
I can scarcely forbear weeping at the bare naming it. 
Scarce a day or an hour passes but my ears are saluted 
with the bitter cries of numbers of our inhabitants for 
bread, many of whom are & have for some time been 
entirely destitute of that article. In short, Sir, I do 
believe, if all the grain of every kind in this place was 
equally divided amongst its inhabitants it w T ould not sub- 
sist them one week ; some few vessells indeed have sjrone 
from hence to the Southern governments for supplies, 
but if they should be so fortunate as to escape the enemy, 
its uncertain (from the acco ts we have) what their success 
will be. We have all along been informed that the crops 
of corn in your State were uncommonly good, but from 
what cause it is so little of it has found its way hither I 
cannot say. I pray & intreat your Excellency would 
afford Cap 1 Bartiett your friendly aid & advice, that he 
may not return empty handed ; the peculiar circum- 
stances of this town and its inhabitants must plead in 
excuse for my thus troubling your Excellency, surrounded 
(as you doubtless are) with numerous cares of publick k, 

* Isaac Lothrop was born in Plymouth Dec. 11, 1706, O. S., was educated in his native 
town, and afterward spent about nine years in Boston, when he returned to Plymouth, 
" where he spent the remainder of his life, nrst as a merchant; but from the year 1778 he 
confined himself to his official duties, as register of probate for the county." He was elected 
a member of the Historical So«-iety in Oct., 1791, his name standing second on the list after 
the ten original members. See 2 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. i. pp. 258-260. — Eds. 


most important concern. I cannot close this letter, Sir, 
without once more intruding on you my most earnest 
solicitations in behalf of this distressed people, not doubt- 
ing, from the knowledge I have of jour Excellency's 
great benevolence & humanity, you will so far condescend, 
by your interest & influence, as to put Cap* Bartlett in 
some way whereby he may be enabled to procure us re- 
lief, which will be ever acknowledged with the greatest 
gratitude. My brother, the Doctor, with his wife join me 
in our most respectfull compliments to you & your good 
family. With very great sincerity & the most profound 
regard, I beg leave to subscribe, 

Your Excellency's most obedient & m° hble. se 


Isaac Lothrop. 

Indorsed: 15 th Feb?, 1779. M r Isaac Lothrop's Letter, de necessitys of 
Plymouth for Grain, rec d p Cap' Bartlett, 29 th March, 1779. 


His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Lebanon. 

Bostox, Feb 20 th , 1779. 

Sir, — The great distress of the town of Plymouth 
which is not only threatned with, but actually suffering, 
a famine of bread must apologize for the trouble I now 
give you, to engage your humanity in favour of a town 
oppressed with so great a calamity. Many of the inhabit- 
ants of that town who have been used to an afluent 
living have been for weeks destitute of bread, which, in 
addition to their peculiar sufferings from a total loss of 
their cheif dependauce for a subsistence, renders their 
case truly pitiable. I am informed they are now sending 

* James Warren was born in Plymouth S^pt. 28, 172G, graduated at Harvard College in 
1745, and became a successful merchant and a conspicuous leader on the popular side dur- 
ing the Revolution. He married a sister of James Otis, and died in his native town Nov. 
27, 1808. See Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. vi. p. 364. — Eds. 


Cap 1 Epli. Bartlett in a schooner with a cargo of West 
India goods to the State of Connecticut, flattering them- 
selves with hopes of a supply of grain by her return. If 
your Excellency will countenance this attempt by your 
assistance you will exhibit to the world an instance of 
your benevolence, & greatly oblige the inhabitants of 
that town. I have the honour to be, with, the greatest 
respect, your Excellency's most obe^ humb 1 serv*. 

J. Warren. 

His Excellency Jon a Trumbull, Esq r . 

Indorsed: 20 th Feby, 1779. James Warren, Esq r , de Plimouth, want of 
Grain, rec d 26 th ins 4 . 


Lebanon, 22 ad February, 1779. 

Gentlemen, — Your letter of the 11 th instant by M r 
West came to hand this day at noon. M r Trumbull hath 
been unwell ; by divine favor is recovered ; at several 
times set hath been hindered going his journey to Phila- 
delphia, — as is the case this morning, by very heavy 
rains. He intends setting out to-morrow. By. him have 
the opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of yours. 
Am sorry to find Confederation is procrastinated. I find 
Maryland hath something plausible to say. I wish that 
obstacle was removed, yet think they might rely on 
what hath been already clone by Congress on that head. 
If the matters they mention were settled it would be 
well. That must be a work of time. A delay of Con- 
federation is very detrimental. 

I wish to have the resolutions relative to the army 
transmitted by the earliest opportunity. You will ob- 
serve what is done by this State for the officers and sol- 
diers of the Connecticut line. Pray see to it that our 


case and grants be not made a handle to leave a heavy 
expence upon us seperately. 

The State of Rhode Island have recievecl a grant for 
seven thousand bushels of grain to be carried from hence 
thither, with a brief throughout this State for the suffer- 
ers driven from the island of Rhode Island, which will 
raise both money and grain for their relief. Have re- 
ceived nothing from the President on that or any other 

I thank you for the communications contained in the 
newspaper you enclosed. 

I hope the event will prove the important intelligence 
received by Congress to be favorable to America. 

If a day of fasting and humiliation is to be observed 
this spring throughout the United States, pray let me 
know it seasonably, that our anniversary fast may be on 
the same day. We have had abundant reasons for thanks- 
frivino; ; have we not also for humiliation and fasting ? 
The most high and supreme director of events hath re- 
spect to the humble and contrite cries and prayers of 
those who tremble at his word and providence, of them 
who fear, love, and serve him. 

The letters addressed to Sam 1 Gray, Esq r , or Mad m 
Dyer, and to Nathanael Wales, Esq r . are forwarded. Col 
Dyer's family are well, except Jabez ; he is in a very 
declining state. M r Root's family were well last Satur- 
day. His son in captivity M r Shaw is desired to use his 
best endeavours to get exchanged. 

I am, with esteem & regard, gentlemen, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 

Jon th Tkumbull. 

Hon b,e Delegates from Connecticut. 



His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esg r , Lebanon. 

New Haven, Feb 1 * 23 d , 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — 

Presuming on your Excellency's known humanity, I 
beg leave to wait on your Excellency in this way, by my 
friend M r Henry Van Dyck, to solicit your Excellency's 
favor in a matter that concerns me greatly. The Reverend 
Doctor Inglis of the City of N. York, for the relief of a poor 
brother clergyman, was so kind as to procure a permit & 
send out the last week as a present to me a suit of clothes 
& sundry small articles for my spouse, to the amount (as I 
am informed) of about ten pounds lawful money ; trifling 
& inconsiderable as the amount may appear, to me a 
poor clergyman they are valuable, as they are much 
needed. They were taken & detained at our lines at 
Hcrseneck by the commander on that station; would 
your Excellency be so kind as to give a single line to the 
commander there to deliver to me the above articles, 
you will lay a great obligation upon your Excellency's 
most humble & very obedient servant. 

Bela Hubbard. 

Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 23 d Feb^, 1779. Rev d Bela Hubbard, de M r Tan Dyke his 
present from N. York, rec d 25 th ins t p M r Van Dyke. 

* Rev. Bela Hubbard was born in Guilford, Conn., Aug. 27, 1739, and graduated at 
Yale College in 1759. After graduating be studied theology with Rev. Dr. Samuel John- 
son, and f<:>r a time served as a lay reader to the Episcopalians in his native town. In 176-3 
he went to England, and was ordained there in the following year. On his return he offi- 
ciated at Guilford, Killingworth.aml New Haven. " On the approach of the Revolution he 
remained loyal to the King, but conducted himself with so much discretion that he was not 
subjected to any serious embarrassment." He died in New Haven Dec. 6. 1812. See 
Dexter's Biographical Sketches of Yale Graduates, vol. ii. pp. 557-559. — Eds. 



His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. P Henry 

Middlktowx, Feb* 24*, 1770. 

Sir, — The bearer, M r Henry Vandike of Stratford, 
waits upon your Excellency to request permission to go 
for England, to obtain orders as an Episcopal clergy- 
man ; be bath officiated as a reader at Stratford for some 
time past, & as the church is vacant, it is probable they 
will be desirous of having him for their minister. 

I was formerly well acquainted with M r Vandyke & 
always esteemed him as a man of good morals, strict 
integrity, of a mild disposition, & benevolent manners ; 
more lately my acquaintance with him hatb been in a 
great measure interrupted. I have heard nothing to 
induce me to alter my opinion of him, tho I am obliged 
in justice to say that I believe he hath not fully con- 
curred in his political sentiments with his countiwinen in 
general in the dispute with Great Britain. 

Whether your Excellency will permit any persons to 
go from this State upon the errand M r Van Dyke pro- 
poses, is not for me to judge, but if any one is permitted 
M r Van Dyke would personally stand as free from objec- 
tion in my view as any gentleman I am acquainted 

I am, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient, 

humble servant. 

Titus Hosmer. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 24 th Feb*, 1739. Titus Hosmer, Esq r , de M r Hen. Van Dyke, 
rec d 25 th ins : . 

1779.] SAMUEL H. PARSONS. 3G5 


New London, 27 th Feb?, 79. 

Sir, — My command here having led me to a consid- 
eration of the measures necessary for the defence of this 
post, I hope it will not be tho't arrogant in me, or a 
departure from the line of my duty, to submit the follow- 
ing* facts and observations to the consideration of your 
Excellency and the Council. 

Fort Griswold at Groton is situated on the height of 
the hill and is commanded by no ground within cannon 
shot, and, in conjunction with the battery near the water 
and one about S, E. from the fort (both which are com- 
manded by the fort), clears all the hollow grounds by 
which the enemy can make any near approach to that 
fort; and, with the addition of a demi bastion at the 
N. E. corner, will be able to make a good resistance 
against any attempt the enemy may make upon this work, 
if a proper supply of ammunition and provisions are 
lodged in the fort to furnish the garrison. Little more 
is necessary to compleat the defence on this side. 

Fort Trumbull is commanded by a range of hills in the 
rear and on the right which overlook the fort, and at so 
small a distance as to render it indefensible for an hour 
after the enemy have posses d those heights with cannon ; 
besides which the ledges and detach d hills behind this 
fort afford a safe approach to a large body of the enemy 
within almost pistol shot of the fort, without a possibility 
of returning a single shot from the fort to any advantage. 
Nor do I find it possible to secure this work from at- 
tempts which may be made in either way, without a cost 
which can scarcely be estimated. The walls in the rear 
of this fort must be rais d at least sixteen feet higher than 
at present, to secure the men on the platforms from the 
enemy's fire from the high lands on the back of the fort. 


Two or three of the sides of this are enfiladed by no other 
part of the work, that the enemy might be perfectly 
secure even under the walls of the fort. One or two 
bastions or demi bastions must be constructed to remove 
this difficulty, and I think the work must now be laid in 
lime or it will not long indure a fire from the hill; the 
walls at present aford no security whatever to any men 
posted there, and it now serves no purpose but a water 
battery. a 

Upon examination there does not appear to me any 
ground so advantageous as to give such manifest advan- 
tage as to warrant a small body of men to attack a very 
superior force in their advance from the light house to 

On these considerations, Sir, I am convinc d of the ne- 
cessity of an inclos d work on the hill near the house now 
occupied by Jer. Miller, Esq r . This place so commands 
Fort Trumbull that no enemy can possibly hold that fort 
whilst we are in possession of the hill. This principal 
work, with two small circular batteries under the com- 
mand of the work, will, I think, effectually prevent the 
advance of the enemy by any rout they might otherwise 
take to possess this commanding height ; and these can 
be erected with much less expence than Fort Trumbull 
can be finish*, and will answer better purposes than that 
fort can ever be made to answer. 

The objection generally made, with great propriety, 
against multiplying works from a necessity of dividing 
our force, does not hold with any great weight in this case, 
because the batteries, if this propos d work is erected, will 
require no more men than will work the guns, and they 
are effectually coverd by the main work which overlooks 
the whole within point blank shot. I have inclos d a very 
imperfect plan of the propos d works, which, however, may 
aford some assistance in considering the matter. 

I find fifty eight cannon at this post, from 4 to 18 

1770.] H1NEY VAN DYCK. 30 

pounders, including those on travelling carriages, these 
upon a medium will consume 4 lb of powder at one charge, 
the number of rounds which you will expect to be us' 1 
must be at or near the place where they are wanted or 
they can be of no service. Musket cartridges for 1,000 
men, I think, ought to be lodg d in the two forts, and 
provisions for fixe or six days ought to [be] lodg d in the 
forts, because twill be impossible to furnish those supplies 
when the Fort[s are] invested. On an averidge about 
20 cartridges can be made from l lb of powder ; allowing 
sixty rounds to the men in the fort \y 2 tons of powder is 
necessary for the musquet cartridges, and about 4 or 5 tons 
for the cannon ; if these ideas should be adopted 500 or 
GOO militia will be necessary as soon as they can be 
drafted, that the w T ork may be begun without delay, in- 
deed the prospect of a descent from Long Island will 
render this measure expedient. 

\Ccdera desimtJ] 

Indorsed by Gov. Trumbull : 27 th Feb^, 1779. General Parsons. 


To His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esquire, Governor, Captain 
General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of Con- 
necticut in America. 

The Petition of Henry Van Dyck, of Stratford, in said 
State most humbly sheweth — 

That your Excellency's petitioner has for more than 
five years declined every kind of business and whollj' 

* Rev- Henry Van Dyck (or Van Dike) was born in New York in 1744, and graduated 
at King's (now Co'umbia) College in 17*51. He moved to Stratford, Conn., where he 
studied and practised law. He afterward studied for the ministry. In August, 1769, he 
married Huldah Lewis, and had by her several children. He is perhaps best remembere 1 
as one of the three clergymen first ordained by Bishop Seabury, in 1785. He subsequently 
became the rector of several churches, and died in the city of New York September 17, 
1804. See History of Stratford, part ii. p. 1320; New York Genealogical and Biographical 
Record, vol. xxx. — El»s. 


devoted himself to the study of Divinity, in order to pre- 
pare & qualify himself for the sacred ministry conform- 
able to the rites & ceremonies of the Episcopal Church, 
from a conscientious persuasion of .its being a true one ; 
and your petitioner being anxiously desirous of ordina- 
tion in that Church most humbly begs leave to ask your 
Excellency's permission to proceed to England by the 
way of New York for the purpose of obtaining Holy 

Your petitioner begs your Excellency to consider that 
in consequence of his not being in Orders he has been 
subjected to very heavy taxes, which has greatly reduced 
him, & are now become so burthensome that he must 
with a wife & three small children sink into absolute ruin 
& distress, which he has no way to prevent, unless your 
Excellency will grant him his reasonable request. 

Your petitioner begs leave further to ask your Excel- 
lency in what way or manner the vacant Episcopal 
Churches in this & the other States are to be supplyed, 
unless requests of this kind are granted by those who 
have authority & power within the several States ? Must 
tlie professors of the Episcopal Churches that are become 
vacant be left intirely destitute of Divine ordinances agre- 
able to their consciences ? Must those that are now filled 
enjoy the invaluable blessings no longer than the lives 
of their present pastors ? Will not a refusal in this case, 
ma}' it please your Excellency, amount to a denial to that 
Church of that religious liberty, which in all free & civil- 
ized states has been ever tolerated & encouraged ? 

Your petitioner therefore most earnestly solicits your 
Excellency to take his humble & reasonable request into 
consideration & lay the same before your Council-Board 
if expedient, that permission may be given him as quick 
as possible to proceed to England for the purpose afore- 
said, and at the same time requests that it may not be 
considered as proceeding from any views inconsistant 

1779.] WILLIAM TRYON. 3G0 

with the true interests of this or the other States, for 
whose peace he will ever pray, but from a real desire he 
has of being serviceable to his fellow-creatures. And 
your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. 

Henry Van Dyck. 

Stratford, this 1 st day of March, 1779. 


Fore Post, King's Bridge, 7 th March, 1779. 

Sir, — By the opportunity of an exchange of prisoners, 
I send you some publications of the loyal City of New 
York; I should be glad to have your papers and those to 
the eastward regularly, and will with your consent as 
punctually send you those published here. We profess 
to keep nothing secret but our military operations ; and 
Ave should be happy if a prudent and sensible moderation 
on your side would (Ave us occasion to make them mine- 
cessary. We fight for a safe, an honorable union of the 
empire, you struggle for a seperation, ruinous to both 
countries ; for my part I am willing with Governor John- 
son to stand in the last ditch, to prevent that calamitous 

I am, Sir, y r ob* serv\ 

W M Tryon. Gov r , dx. 

To Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 7 th March, 1779. Gov r Tryon, de publications of the loyal city 
of N. York, desires our & y e Eastern papers, no secrets save military opera- 
tions, they fight for hon ble Union ; we for seperation ; ruinous to both. Will- 
ing w lh Gov 1 " Johnston to stand in the last ditch. Rec d w tt papers & procl a 
inclosed, 10 th ins t . 




On Publick Service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Gov r 
of the State of Conecticut, Lebanon. W. Greene. 

Providence, 9 th March, 1779. 

Sir, — This will be handed your Excellency by William 
Rhodes, Esq 1 *, High Sheriff of the County of Providence, 
whome you will see by the enclosed resolve of our Coun- 
cil of War they have sent express to borrow the sum of 
twelve thousand pounds lawful money, to be appropriated 
towards reinlisting the brigade of this State's troops now 
doing duty at Tivertown, whose times expire on the 16 th 

Your Excellency doubtless remembers that by the Con- 
vention held at Springfield the New England States were 
to keep up five thousand men at least, for the defence of 
this State, so long as the enemy continues on the Island 
of Rhode-Island ; notwithstanding which we have not a 
man from any of the New England States, except the 
Continental troops who do not exceed two thousand 
men, although the enemy are suppos d to be able to mus- 
ter about seven thousand on said Island ; provided we 
can procure the money we have a good prospect of 
reinlisting a considerable part of the troops now in our 

If it be in your power to assist us with the sum of 
money we want, I doubt not of your readiness to comply 
therein and that you will give the bearer all the dispatch 
possable ; we have sent to Boston for hiring a sum, and 
shall exert every ability to accomplish the end within 
this State. Our Treasurer will be enabled to repay the 
money by the middle of April next ; and if the money 
should be wanted much before, Gen 1 Sullivan has given 
us assurances that he will supply the money out of 


the military chest, which he expects will be supplied 

I am, with every sentiment of respect, 

Your obedient, humble ser\ rt . 

W. Greene. 

Indorsed : 9 th March, 1779. Gov r Greene, de loan of £12,000 to that State. 
Rec d & Answ d 10 th ins 1 . 


State of Rhode Island, &c. In Council of War, March 9 th , 1779. 

Whereas from the stoppage of the two emissions of 
Continental money emitted in May, 1777, and April, 
1778, it so happens that the Treasury of this State is 
nearly exhausted of money that is passable ; and Whereas 
it is absolutely necessary that a sum not exceeding twelve 
thousand pounds should be procured to pay the bounties 
of the soldiers now to be enlisted for the defence of 
this State in particular, and y e other United States in 
general ; 

Tis therefore Resolved that Joseph Clarke, Esq r , General 
Treasurer of this State, be empowered and directed to 
hire a further sum of twelve thousand pounds lawful 
money on interest, and that he give assurances that the 
same shall be repaid out of the first money that shall be 
paid into his office out of y e tax payable y e 15 th of April, 

Tis further Resolved that William Rhodes, Esq r , High 
Sherriff of the County of Providence proceed to Connecti- 
cut with all speed, and their apply to His Excellency Gov- 
ernor Trumbull and his Council of Safety, and request 
them in the name of this Council that they would lend 
the sum of twelve thousand pounds out of their Treasury 
assuring them that y e service of y e publick will be thereby 


much served, and that the same shall be repaid in one 
month from the date ; that he take a note with him duly 
signed and executed by the General Treasurer for that 

Tis further Resolved that his Excellency Governor 
Greene write a letter to Governor Trumbull on the 
subject, letting him know y e urgency of the case and 
requesting that the Sheriff may be dispatched as soon 

By order. W M Coddington, Clerk. 


Providence, March 11 th , 1779. 

Sir, — As the season of the year now approaches in 
which we may expect the enemy to act offensively, we 
are under the strongest necessity of calling upon our sister 
State of Connecticut to fulfil the agreement entered into 
[at] Springfield by the New-England States, for keeping 
up an army for the common defence against the enemy 
posted at Rhode Island. Their army is strong and well 
appointed. It now consists of fourteen regiments, amount- 
ing to near 6,000 effective men. 

The Continental troops in this Department do not 
exceed two thousand men. The brigade raised by this 
State the last year will be disbanded in a few days, as the 
term of their inlistments expires on the 16 th instant. 

The General Assembly have ordered a brigade to be 
raised of 1,500 men, officers included, and have granted 
a generous bounty and ample subsistence ; and we have 
reason to hope that we shall reinlist a considerable part 
of the same men immediately, but you must be sensible, 
Sir, that if the brigade was completed, the whole force 
in this State, without assistance from the other New En^- 
land States, is utterly inadequate to making a defence 
against the army upon Rhode Island. 

1779.] SAMUEL II. PARSONS. 373 

Our exertions much exceed our abilities ; but as it is 
our great misfortune to have the enemy in the very 
bowels of the State, and we are daily in danger of being 
totally ruined, we have strained every nerve to fulfil that 
agreement. As on every occasion we shall give all the 
assistance in our power to any of our sister States when 
invaded, so we cannot entertain a doubt but that the State 
of Connecticutt will immediately raise and order to march 
the number of men stipulated as her quota by that agree- 
ment, to oppose the enemy in this State, more especially 
as Congress have approved and strongly recommended it 
to the several New England States punctually to comply 
with it. 

We address similar letters to our sister States of 
Massachusetts-Bay and New Hampshire, and hope for 
favourable returns as soon as possible. 

I request you, Sir, to lay this application before the 
General Assembly of your State, if it be sitting, or other- 
wise before the Council, and am in behalf of the General 
Assembly, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most obedient 

and most humble servant. 

W. Greene. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 11 th March, 1779. Gov r Green, de our quota for that State, 
rec d 25 th ins 1 p post. Bushnel. 


On public service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Pr express. 

Lyme, 24 th March, 79. 

Sir, — In consequence of Gen 1 Putnam's orders I yes- 
terday left the command I had at New London, being 
releiv d therein by Col Johnson, and was proceeding to 
camp to join my brigade when the accounts brot by Cap 5 


lien man, which also have been forwarded to your Excel- 
lency, were sent me by express to this place. Our offen- 
sive operations are now effectually changed to defensive, 
and very little time remains to put the town of New Lon- 
don into such a state as will give any hopes of its being 
effectually defended ; I am still of opinion that the hill 
back of Fort Trumbull must be securd to give the most 
distant hope of security. Under these circumstances I 
must again urge the necessity of an immediate attempt 
to secure it in the best manner the short time before the 
enemy will probably make their attack, will admit of ; 
men for this purpose, the necessary orders from your 
Excellency, are yet wanting. Spare ammunition is not 
provided. On the whole we are in a state which aforcls 
me very little hope of preventing the enemy from de- 
stroying the town. Providence by the storm has destroy* 
great part of their transports which, I have no doubt, 
were design 5 to bring over the troops from the Island ; 
this afords us a little more time to attend to this impor- 
tant matter, but no time to loose if we design to secure 
the town. I am at a loss whither I can return consistant 
with my orders. I wish to be there should the attack be 
made, if I could be of anv service : I believe I shall 2*0 
back & see for myself what the state of matters now are ; 
tho I have no command, perhaps Col Johnson will wish 
to see me on this occasion. If your Excellency thinks it 
my duty to stay under present circumstances, I beg the 
favor of a line by the return of express, & also that you 
will write General Putnam that I may not be censurd by 
my delay to return. I have sent for Bushnell to see if 
we can dislodge the ship which is now said to block up 
the harbour. 

I am, y r Excellency's obed* serv*. 

Sam l H. Parsoxs. 

Indorsed: Lyme, 24 Mar., 79. B. Gen 1 Parsons, de enemy coming to New 
London, rec d & answ d 25 th p L* Chapman. 




On Public Service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 


New London, 26 th of March, 1779. 
Sir, — General Huntington having given orders to 
B. Gen 1 Tyler to "confer with the officers here respect- 
ing the necessary preparations to defend Town Hill, he 
has according consulted the officers here ; and we are 
unanimously of opinion that to secure that hill, which 
commands Fort Trumbull and opens the entrance into the 
town, it is necessary that an inclos d work sufficient for 
about three hundred men should be erected as soon as 
possible, which should be flank* by two batteries to clear 
the hollow grounds on the west and east sides of the hill; 
without these works we are of opinion Fort Trumbull is 
wholly indefensible against a land attack and that the 
supernumerary cannon and stores in that fort in its pres- 
ent state are altogether insecure; and that the state of 
the enemy is such as requires an immediate attention to 
erecting & securing the works on the hill. We suppose 
six hundred men ought to be immediately sent in, in case 
provisions can be furnish d for them, or such number as 
can be supplied ; the necessary orders are issued for that 
purpose for the draft from the 3 d brigade, but, Sir, as that 
brigade must furnish most of the troops who can be 
brought to oppose the enemy soon in case of an actual 
attack, we would propose to your Excellency's consider- 
ation whither the draft for the present purpose ought not 
to be in whole or in the greater part from other brigades, as 
the troops cannot march before your Excellency will have 

* John Tyler of Preston, Conn., was commissioned as a Captain in the militia May 1, 
1775, and in June, 1777, was i romoted to be a brigadier-general. He served through the 
war. See Record of Connect. out Men in the Revolution, pp. 99, 430. — Eds. 


time to give such further directions to Gen 1 Tyler as will 
he necessary in case any part of the draft from the 3 d 
brigade is not to march. AVe hope your Excellency will 
give such directions respecting the furnishing provisions 
as will ensure a regular supply, without which they can- 
not be kept here many days. The appointing a person to 
furnish every necessary for carrying on the works will be 
exceedingly necessary, as well as furnishing intrenching 
tools of various kinds more than are now in the hands of 
the officer commanding here. We could have wish* Gen 1 
Huntington would have attended to <nve such orders as 
he thinks necessary for the defence of the post which on 
any attack he will have the defence of; and that previous 
orders might have been issued to prevent the confusion 
which will necessarily ensue on an alarm, if previous 
directions are not given : the orders from Gen 1 Hunting- 
ton are to consult and do what is necessary for the 
security of Town Hill ; we think some more determinate 
directions are necessary. Your Excellency or the Council 
or some other person or body of men must have power to 
order the necessary supplies and approve or disapprove 
the plan of the works and order them to be erected ; for 
this purpose, as well as other ends, we conceive it neces- 
sary that Gen 1 Huntington, or some gentleman properly 
authoris d for the purpose, should be present and give the 
necessary orders. 

By the latest inteligence from Long Island the account 
of Gen 1 Clinton's being at Southampton seems to be con- 
firm* ; that about 200 or 300 men came with him. that a 
fleet was expected at Sagg Harbour from Xew York ; that 
they continue the building boats at y e canoe place, that 
the fleet from Rhode Island consisted of 25 sail, of which 
about 16 are on shore ; that the men in the fleet said they 
were bound to Sagg Harbour for wood, that the inhabi- 
tants say they were designd to take the troops on board ; 
that the boats are designd to land troops ; and that tis 


the general opinion of the inhabitants that an expedition 
against New London is intended and will shortly take 
place. Under these circumstances we are of opinion that 
an immediate attention to securing the post and giving 
the previous orders to the militia is necessary; and that 
the time Providence has furnish' 1 for the occasion by the 
loss of their shipping cannot be better improv' 1 than by a 
vigorous exertion to make such preparations as will cause 
the enemy to repent their temerity, should they make 
the attack. Nothing on our p[art] shall be wanting to 
forward your Excelle[ncy's] intentions ; and every order 
receiv d will be chearfully obeyed by 

Y r Excellency's obed\ h e serv ts . 

Sam l II . Parsons. 

John Tyler. 

P. S. A return of the troops on this station is inclos d . 
Maj r Ledyard is now iraploy d ill making an abattis round 
Fort Griswold, which will add greatly to its security. 


Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

T r Express. 

New London, April 1 st , 1779. 

Sir, — I got in here last evening, could not obtain any 

inteligence of the motions of the enemy later than those 

transmitted by Gen 1 Parsons. This morning, accom- 

* James WacU worth was born in Durham, Conn., July 8, 1730, and graduated at 
Yale College in 1748. In 1753 he was a Lieutenant in the militia, and in the Ticonderoga 
campaigns of 1758 and 1759 he held a Captain's commission. At the beginning of 1775 he 
was a Colonel, and the next year he was made a Brigadier-General. On the death of Gen- 
eral Wooster he was promoted to be a Major-General, and he held that position until his 
resignation in May, 1779. Besides these military appointments he filled numerous civil 
offices. He was strongly opposed to the ratification of the Federal Constitution, " and not 
being able conscientiously to take the oath of fidelity to the new constitution, he retired 
thenceforth from public life." lie died in Durham Sept. 22, 1817. See Dexter's Biograph- 
ical Sketches of Yale Graduates, roL ii. pp. 192, 193. — Eds. 


panied by Gen ls Parsons & Tyler, Colo 8 Throop, Johnson 
& Chapman, Maj ra Ledyard, Walbridge & Peters, & M r 
Mumford, viewed the ground on Town-Hill & Fort Trum- 
bull, find the latter in a very unfinished & incomplete 
state & much overlooked by Town-Hill. On consultation 
many great objections attend the construction of such 
works there as will be capable of defence any long time 
& covering Fort Trumbull ; such as the want of proper 
tools, materials, forage for teams & the difficulties of call- 
ing men from their business at this season of the year, 
together with the want of cannon to defend the works, 
& the ease of passing round them into the town, &c. 
And there appeared to be different opinions on the ex- 
pediency of erecting works. But not looking on myself 
at liberty to suspend them, the gentlemen agreed that 
the works to be erected on the Town-Hill consist of an 
inclosed fort (erected with fascines) large enough to con- 
tain three hundred men, fronting southward, with one 
redoubt on the risdit & one on the left. I have ordered 
a return of the tools to be made tomorrow morning, but 
from the best information from Maj r Ledyard there may 
be about sixty or seventy spades & shovels, five or ten 
axes, a number by no means adequate to the service. 
Wish an order to be made for tools, with three doz n bill- 
hooks to cut fascines, if the works go on, which (unless 
otherwise ordered) I shall begin as soon as Col. Throop's 
reg t comes upon the ground, which expect will be this 
afternoon. Tho' I am informed many of them have left 
their affairs in most distressing circumstances, having 
little & some no forage for their cattle. Have wrote M* 
Raymord * for ten draught horses for the field-pieces & 
have ventured to add forage, as none can be had here, as 
I am informed. Eight oxen will be wanted to assist in 

* The person here, and in General Wadsworth's letter, post, p. 384, called Raymord, 
wa3 without doubt John Raymond, of New London, see Public Records of Connecticut, 
Oct., 1776-Feb., 177S, p. 357; Hid., May, 1778-Apr., 1780, p. 389. —Eds. 


moving the twelve pounders. A quantity of musket 
cartridges are making here, which I shall order back to 
some proper place. Maj r Ledyard wishes five hundred 
weight musket powder for cartridges as soon as may be. 
Can give no further information touching provisions than 
what you are possess'd of; suppose flower sufficient for 
ten or twelve days. 

Gen 1 Parsons has just rec d a letter from Gen 1 Putnam 
informing he shall not send any Continental troops to 
New-London at present ; but shall send 300 to New- 
Haven, which if occasion require he may order on. Gen 1 
Parsons was going on to camp this day ; but on receiving 
the letter concluded to go to Lyme, & that he would re- 
turn on any emergency, & in case nothing extraordinary- 
happened he would visit this place before he returned to 

Shall do every tiling in my power for the security of 
this post, but am unhappy to find the works, on this side, 
will be of little or no consequence if an attack is made 
by land, & so are liable to be lost if the enemy come in 

I am, with regard & esteem, 

Your Excellency's most obed*, hum bl serv*. 

James Wadswoeth. 

P. S. Three persons broke out here with the small 
pox yesterday & great difficulty will attend covering the 

His Excellency Gov 1 " Tkumbull. 

Indorsed: 1 st April, 1779. M. Gen. Wadsworth, de works on Town Hill, 
rec d p express 2 nd April, 4 o'clo. mane. 



On Publlnh Service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq? , Gov- 
ernor of the State of Connecticut, Lebanon. W. Greene. 

Providence, 5 th April, 1770. 
Sir, — I received jour favor of the 29 th of last month 
and noted the contents. Shou'd the enemy make a 
decent upon your State, and at the same time leave this 
so that we might be at libertv to go to the assistance of 
yours, or any other where the enemy may make their 
incroachments, I have not the least doubt of all possable 
aid being given from this. 

Major General Sullivan left this post last week, since 
which Major General Gates has supplyed his place. 
I am, with much esteem & regard, 

Your obedient and most humble serv*. 

W. Greene. 

Indorsed: 5 th April, 1779. Gov p Green, de Assistance, &c, rec d 7 th ins*. 


On public service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

P r M r Shaw. 

New London, April 5 th , 1779. 

Sir, — Yours of the 2 nd hist, with the inclosed have 
been duly receivd. The prospect of an immediate at- 
tack on this post not being so great as had been appre- 
hended, orders were given on Friday last to dismiss the 
alarm-list comp y3 of Col. Throop's reg*, also the super- 
numerary officers have been permitted to return home. 
And there now remains here of that reg fc 252 privates, 
who are quartered in houses on the west side of the har- 
bour, & on the road to Lyme, extending the distance of 
four or five miles, — a measure very detrimental to the 
service, tho' necessary to prevent the spreading- of the 
small pox, which is daily breaking out among the inhabi- 

1779.] JAMES WADSWoirrn. 381 

tants. Orders were sent out on Saturday last to Brig dr 
Erastus Woolcot for three hundred men, & to Brig dr 
Douglass for two hundred & fifty men, to carry on the 
works on Town-Hill, & proposed to detach fifty from 
Col. Throop's reg* & dismiss the rest as fast as the other 
detachments shall come in. Bat take leave to submit to 
your Excellency's consideration whether it will be best to 
ratain any of that reg fc , as the whole were ordered & did 
march at this difficult season of the year, & those now 

here cannot vet return. 


Inclosed you will recieve a N° of questions & answers 
which contain the latest intelligence I am possessed of; 
except that the master of a prize schooner taken by 
the Revenue, which arrived here yesterday, informs that 
eleven or twelve sail of small privateers are cruising in 
the Vineyard Sound & parts adjacent, had attempted to 
land at or near Dartmouth but were prevented. They 
give out that they are victualled for thirty days k have 
licence to plunder on the coast during that time. The 
want of tools will occasion unavoidable delays in carry- 
ing on the works here, have employed persons to make 
some ; being informed it was probable there were some 
at Norwich, wrote Gen 1 Huntington on the 3 rd inst., but 
have not receiv d any tools or advice touching the same. 
When the tools shall be procured applications for fatigue 
rum will be a certain consequence, whether any is to be 
had, how & in what quantities delivered, must beg your 
direction. Gen 1 Parsons is gone to the westward ; and I 
believe Gen 1 Tyler will go home this day or tomorrow. 
" This goes by M r Shaw, with whom I lodge & have con- 
versed largely, to whom must take leave to refer 3'our 
Excellency for further particulars. 
I am, with great esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humb e serv\ 

His Excellency Gov' Truibull. J AMES WaDSWORTIT. 

Indorsed: 5' h April, 1779. Maj* General Wadsworth, de Troops at New 
London, rec d 6 lh ins' vespere, p Mr. Shaw. 



His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

New London, Ap 1 5, 1779. 

Sir, - — I rec d a letter from M r Colt, informing me of 
the difficulty of procuring flour. I have extracted from 
his letter what relates to it, & sent your Excellency for 
perusall ; it is as follows " Ap 1 3. 1779. I flatter my self 
you will not have the militia long to feed, if you do & the 
State will not pass a law to seize bread, we shall possi- 
tively refuse supplying them." If I am not mistaken, 
your Excellency informed me that M r Colt had offered & 
engag d to supply all the troops at this place. It is im- 
possible for me to procure it, under the present circum- 
stances. If I should be able to purchase it for the State, 
the embarrassments it is subjected to by every one that 
pretends he is a purchasing commissary for the continent, 
would weary any person's patience. Considerable part 
of M r Hil house purchase was taken away by M r Read & 
Silleck, P. Commiss., & by Gen 1 M c Dougall; so that I 
have no expectations from that quarter. 

I must beg your Excellency to inform me in what 
manner & from what stores the militia here are to be 
supply d with fatigue rum. I have none on hand, & if 
they are to be supply d from the stores of this State, wish 
to be informed how I can procure supplys of money to 
pay for it. I can get no money from the Treasury on 
the orders from the pay-table, nor have I rec d one hun- 
dred pounds in cash from the Treasury this six months ; 
but have been oblig d to sell & barter State notes & Treas- 
ury orders so long that I cannot get any thing. I have 
drained my self of all the cash I have or can get, & have 
order in exchange which will procure nothing. I am 


sorry to trouble your Excellency with continual! com- 
plaints, but cannot help it. 

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, 
Your Excellency's 

Most humble & oV serv\ 

Edward Hall am. 

His Excellency Gov 1 " Trumbull. 

Indorsed: X. London, April 5 th , 1779. M r Edward Hallam, de Flower, 
Fatigue Rum, rec d 10 th ins*. 


On Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

New London, 6 th April, 1779. 

Sir, — A fleet from the eastward appeared yesterday 
afternoon to the southward of Fisher's Island, beating to 
the westward. The wind & tide being against them they 
did not pass this harbour until early this morning, when 
they were discovered standing westward, & when last 
seen were supposed to be up with Brown's Hill, a little 
to the westward of Plumb-Gut. The fleet consists of about 
twenty-five sail, but the weather being hazy an accurate 
observation of them could not be taken, but from the best 
we were able to make, there appeared to be two or three 
ships of force, one of them large carrying a flag, & fre- 
quently firing guns supposed to be signals. Have no in- 
telligence of the enemy on Long Island later than what 
was transmitted in my last. Enclosed you will recieve 
an extract from M r Colt's letter addressed to M r Hallam, 
which I enclose for consideration. 

Wish not to trouble your Excellency with a long list of 
disagreeables, but, to prevent blame in not faster execut- 
ing the works for defence, must inform, that on applica- 
tion to M r Holt, a Deputy Q. M. here in the Continental 
line for teams, he says he cannot procure hay unless im- 
pressed, nor teams unless he will pay a certain price ; 


the hay at two hundred dollars p r ton ; that he has not 
money to pay for the same, nor is authorised to agree for 
a certain price to be paid for the use of a team. No hay 
is procured for the draft horses, nor can it be unless at 
the most extravagant price. I apply ed to M r Ray morel, 
who was appointed to provide draft horses at this place, 
w r ho informed me he could not procure them except by 
warrant. On a representation of the necessity we might 
be under of having them, he applied to Esq r Wait for a 
warrant, but having lost the copy of his appointment, 
M r Wait declined giving a warrant. Notwithstanding 
am determined to make every reasonable effort to secure 
the safety of this place. 

I am, with great esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant. 

James Wadsworth. 

P. S. M r Hallam, State Com y & A. Com y of Issues for 
the Con tin*, doubts the propriety of delivering Cont 1 rum 
(in case he should recieve any) to the fatigue men em- 
ployed in erecting new fortifications by your advice & 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 6 th April, 1779. Maj r General Wadsworth, de fleet, went 
westwd. Teams. Price of Hay. For warrant, rec d 10 th ins'. 


Hartford, April 6, 1779. 
Sir, — Since I rec d your Excellency's orders to furnish 
provisions for the troops that were to be assembled at 

* Jeremiah Wadsworth was born in Hartford, Conn., July 12, 1743, and died there April 
30, 1804. He was a deputy commissary under Joseph Trumbull, and afterward Commis- 
sary General of Purchases, arid served as commissary for the French army until the close of 
our War of the Revolution. He was a member of the Continental Cong^ss from 1786 to 
1788, and a member of the Hdfcse of Representatives under the Constitution from 1789 to 
1795. See Memorial History of Hartford County, vol. i. pp. 655, 656; Appleton's Cyclope- 
dia of American Biography, vol. vi. p. 312. — Eds. 


New London, I have taken every legal measure to obtain 
wheat, rye, flour or corn, but with so little success that I 
can hardly say I have obtained any, & I am certain from 
the experiments I have made that their is no possibility 
of obtaining- any quantity, and it will be utterly out of 
my power to supply the militia of the State if calfd out. 
The scarcity is so great that it is with great difficulty 
the Continental troops in this State & the State of Rhode 
Island are fed, and they have been entirely out several 
times, & I fear those at New London are this moment 
without bread. The persons I have employed in trying 
to execute the law for seizing wheat & flour inform me 
of very considerable quantities which are with held but 
do not come within the Jaw, & from them and many 
others I have the fullest assurance that much wheat, 
flour & other grain is daily carried out of the State for 
private use. There is reason to believe that much of the 
corn bought up in this State is not applied to the use of 
the distressed inhabitants for whom it is pretended to be 
purchased, & so long as it is allowed to be shipped here 
for other parts of the State their is no possibility under 
the present regulations to prevent its being carried to 
the enemy. If it were possible to obtain bread for the 
army by the present law the expence is so great that the 
Treasury of the United States is not sufficient to pay for 
it. As an evidence of this I have annexed an account of 
three tons of flour seized & apprized. It has been con- 
fidently asserted that the Southern States abound in flour 
& wheat, & that the army can be easily furnished with 
bread from thence ; this is a mistake. I have been as far 
south as Williamsburgh in Virginia, where the wheat is 
almost all destroyed by the weavil or fly. The Carolinas 
produce very little wheat, & have applied to my Deputy in 
Virginia for flour to feed the troops under Gen 1 Lincoln : 
the Convention troops at Charlotte Viile in Virginia, & their 
militia will consume all the wheat & corn in that State, 



and the crops in Maryland were short and have suffered 

much by the fly. Pensylvania & New Jersey have already 

been drain'd to supply our army & the French navy. New 

York has a very considerable quantity of wheat, & the 

Legislature of that State have passed a law which is now 

vigorously executing, and at present furnishes the troops 

in that State & this with all the bread they eat, but the 

abilities of that State are unequal to the supplies now 

drawn from them for any considerable time. The French 

Consul has occasion for a quantity of flour for their navy 

now in the West Indies, and expect to be furnished by 

the United States, and that fleet can have bread from 

no other quarter. From these facts your Excellency may 

see that every kernel of grain in the United States will be 

necessary for the ensuing campaign. I will not take up 

your time in relateing the misfortunes that have attended 

our attempts to import rice from South Carolina into the 

Eastern States, but every post brings me fresh accounts 

of the capture of the vessels employed in that service, 

and not one has yet arriv'd of the many sent out, the 

coasts being covered & the bays filled with privateers 

from the enemy. 

I have substantial reasons to believe our demand for 

flour will be much greater than is at present suspected, 

& the want of magazines of that necessary article will be 

severely felt, and may prehaps be the only obstacle to our 

utterly exterpating the British army from this continent, 

in the course of the approaching campaign. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your Excellency's most ob*, humble servant, 

Jere h Wadsworth, 

Com. Gen. P. 
His Excell>' Governor Tkumcull. 



An Account of 34 casks JZoiir, seized at Suffield, with the price 
g apprizement and cost thereon. 

To 31 casks of flour, w l 65-2- 26 lb n* @ 20£ p cw*, 

p apprizement £1314. 18. 2 

"We, the subscribers appointed & sworn according 
to law to take the account and apprize the value of 
thirty four barrells of flour, exhibited by the civil ' 
authority & select men of Suffield, have taken the 
contents according to the marks sett on each cask, as 
p r the within list, the amount of which is, three tons, 
five hundred, two quarters, & twenty six pounds, 
which we apprize to be worth twenty pounds p r cw*, 
amounting to £1314. IS. 2. 

Aaron Hitchcock) 

Joseph Pease |4fiP""« 

Suffield, April 3 d , 1779. 

Rec d , Suffield, April 2 d , 1779, from Cap* James 
Watson, one thousand, three hundred & fourteen 
pounds, eighteen shillings & two pence, money in Con- 
tinental bills for the flour in the within list, being 
the whole sum at which the same was apprized. 

Elihu Kent, Sheriff's Depute/. 

Bill of cost for taking & securing 34 barr 8 of flour 
for the use of the Commiss y Gen 1 . 

"Warrant 12/ officers fees & cost 60/ £3. 12. 

Apprizers • 1. 4. 

Guard, & keeping 1 day & night 18. 4. 

Receiving & storeing cask 1. 16. 

Authority & Select Men 2 days 11. 8. 

Rec d , Suffield, 3 d , 1779, from Cap* James Watson 
thirty six pounds, four shillings, being the whole cost 
in the above bill 

P Alex. King. > 

T . T r Just, of Peace, 

Jn° Leavitt. ) J 

Rec d , Suffield. April 3 d , 1779, from Cap* James ) 
Watson of Hartford for public services, securing flour y 1. 4. 

for the use of the Continert four dollars. ) 

Asa el H art h way. 

36. 4. 


Rec d , Suffield, 3 d April, 1779, from Cap* James-) 
Watson three dollars for public service done the ' 0. 18. 

Continent, securing flour, &c. ) 

Jn° Leavitt 

Cap* James Watson's Bill 

To a journey to Symsbury, Windsor & 

Suffield to procure flour, 1 day £3. 0. 

To horse hire for the above journey, 

being 26 miles 3. 18. 

To a journey to Suffield & Windsor for 

the above purpose, 2 days 6. 0. 

To horse hire, 24 miles 3. 12. 

To expences of both the above journeys 4. 2. 6 

■ 20. 12. 

Transportation of the above 34 barrells of flour, 
from Suffield to Hartford, not paid, supposed to be 38. 5. 

£1412. 1. 8 


Ills Excellency Governor Trumbull, in Hartford. P favour 

M* Holt. 

Grotox, 12 th April, 1779. 
His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Sir, — I would beg leave to inform your Excellency 
that there is not the least probability of Captains Shapley 
& Latham's filling, up their companies upon the encour- 
agement offered by the Hon bl General Assembly at their 
last sessions, & I am informed that the officers have 
concluded not to serve upon the encouragement there 
offered, but are willing to serve for a reasonable reward ; 
could wish that some plan might be adopted in order to 
engage proper artillery men for this department, as the 
security of the fortifications and harbour depends much 
(in my oppinion) in having men well acquainted with 
cannon, &c. I have not been able to hire a sufficiency 
of money to pay of the soldiers that served in the artil- 
lery companies the last year, but hope soon to receive [it] 


out of the Treasury. General Wadsworth writes your 
Excellency by this oppertunity respecting matters in this 

I am, your Excellency's 

Most obt. & most hum 1 serv\ 

W M Ledyard. 

Indorsed: 12 th April, 1779. Maj r Will m Ledyard, de officers of matross 
comp s atX. Lond° & Groton unable to inlist their companies, &c, rec d 14. :h 
ins 1 , p M r Holt. 


On the service of the United States. Ills Excellency Jonathan 
Trumbull, Esq r > Governor of the State of Connecticut, Lebanon. 

Sir. — The reason which has determined Swizzerland, 
as well as other Republics of Europe, to place their 
security in a militia capable of supporting their inde- 
pendency, is the want of the necessary means to main- 
tain a standing army. This reason hath a much greater 
weight in the United States, where it would be impos- 
sible to keep up armies numerous enough to defend so 
extensive a country from every hostile invasion, espe- 
pecially when the naval force of our enemies is so much 
superior to ours. 

It is then in our militias that we must find the real 
strength which we are to oppose to that of Great Britain, 
and these are indeed the most respectable forces, which 
consist of brave citizens who, animated by the noblest 
motives, defend their country and their liberty. Our 
business is then now to find out the means of rendering 

* Frederick W. A. H. von Steuben was born in Magdeburg, Prussia, Nov. 15, 1730, 
and began his military career at a very early age. In 1777 lie was induced to come to 
America, and in May of the following year he was made Inspector-General of the American 
army with the rank of Major-General. Here he showed great ability, and brought the 
army up to a high degree of efficiency. After the close of the war he retired to Central 
New York, and died, of paralysis, at Steubenville, Nov. 2S, 1794. See Appleton's Cyclo- 
pzedfa of American Biograpbv, vol. v. pp. GG8-670; Sparks's American Biography, vol. ix. 
pp. 1-04. — Eds. 


that militia capable to supply the want of a well regu- 
lated standing army, at least as much as lies in our 

These means should be simple ; uniformity in the 
formation, in the march, and in the motions of the troops, 
and the keeping them together in order are the most 
essential points. 

In the composition of the first part of the regulations 
which have been just published, I have established gene- 
ral principles as easy and convenient for our regiments 
of militia as for the Continental army, putting aside the 
manual exercise which I look on in some part as super- 
fluous. The rest may be introduced without the least 
difficulty, and the greatest advantage will result, when a 
body of militia will join the army, as well as when it will 
act separately. 

I am induced by this reason to address a copy of these 
regulations to your Excellency, and submit them to your 
judgment, and in case you are of opinion that these 
rules actually introduced in our army may serve for the 
militia of your State, I have not only engaged with the 
Continental Board of War to keep copies of them in 
readiness for the Legislatures of the several States who 
will demand them, but I expect only your orders to 
request of the Commander in Chief to send you an officer 
capable of introducing them and giving the necessary 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 
Sir, your Excellency's most obedient 

and very humble servant. 

Mctj. General. 

Philadelphia, April 20 th , 1779. 

His Excellency J. Trumbull, I^sq., Gov of Connecticut. 

Indorsed : 20 th April, i779, Maj r General Steuben, de Militia regulated, 
rec d 26 th May, 79. 

1779.] SILAS DEANE. 391 


Philadelphia, May 3Q th , 1779. 

Sir, — I did myself the honor of writing a long letter 
which I sent by Co 1 Oswald to which refer. What 1 
have for some time foreseen and dreaded, is now arrived, 
or at the door. The imprudence of many gentlemen in 
Congress in February last in circulating thro, the con- 
tinent reports that the most favorable intelligence had 
been received, and leading the people to believe that a 
peace might be obtained speedily, has been, & will be, 
attended with the most fatal consequences. Those gen- 
tlemen who by writing, or in conversation, have endeav- 
oured to perswade the people that the war was nearly 
over, and that it was not in the power of our enemies to 
push another campaign with vigor, have most essentially 
injured America, whatever their real intentions might 
have been. I am not in the counsels of America; if I 
were, I should hold myself bound to protest publicly 
against such language, as well as against many other 
proceedings, of which I have to my inexpressible greif & 
disappointment been witness within a few months past. 
Our ally has no desire of continuing the war. It was no 
ambitious view which led his Most Christian Majesty to 
engage in it. The great object proposed by the alliance on 
the part of France was to render these States free and in- 
dependant, and thereby separate them from Great Brittain 
forever, the consequence of which w r ould be an increase 
of the commerce of France, and the preventing Great 
Brittain, at all times powerful at sea, from becoming so 
enormously superior on that element as to be able to 
give law to the world. The ambition of the King of 
France has for its objects the encouragement & perfec- 
tion of arts, commerce, agriculture & population in his 
fertile and extensive dominions in Europe ; the carry- 
ing these to that height which France is capable of will 


render his kingdom, without any acquisition of new terri- 
tory, the most powerful, rich & happy empire in the 
world ; and fortunate indeed is it for the subjects of 
France that they have a Prince who in the prime of life, 
counselled and directed by wise & experienced ministers, 
pursues the only road to true and solid glory. The 
King had reason to expect that the armament sent out 
last year for our releif would have effectually broken the 
British force in America, and forced that nation to con- 
sult her own true interest, by repressing her views of 
domination, in the acknowledgment of the independance 
of these States. This point obtained, it is evident from 
the treaty, and I am confident from my own knowledge 
of the disposition of the court, that France would de- 
mand nothing further, either from Great Brittain or 
America. This being the simple object in view, France 
wished to avoid if possible entering into the war at all, 
and most certainly cannot wish the continuance of it. If 
Great Brittain will not listen to reasonable and just terms, 
the allies of France must undoubtedly interpose and 
offer their mediation, and if rejected, their aid to France 
& these States against England. But it is easy to see 
that the allies of France will pay too great a regard to 
national justice to commit themselves actively in the 
war, before they know what terms are insisted on by 
each contending party. Thus situated it became neces- 
sary that America should explicitly say on what terms 
they would consent to a treaty of peace. For this pur- 
pose Congress were applied to early in February, & 
urged in the most freindly manner to loose no time in 
coming to their resolutions on this important subject; 
many honorable & encouraging proposals were, I am 
well informed, at the same time laid before them, and 
they were acquainted with the disposition of his Most 
Christian Majesty to peace, if to be obtained, with the 
security of our freedom and independance. History does 

1779.] SILAS DEANE. 303 

not afford stronger instances of the generosity & kindness. 
I may say affectionate freindship, of one nation for another 
than those which have heen exhibited by France toward 
ns. God forbid, we should finally prove ungrateful, & 
may He forgive (for I confess, I cannot,) the wickedness 
of those, we have too many of them among us, who judg- 
ing of every thing by what passes in their own hearts 
attribute every thing of this kind to interested and self- 
ish views. The application was certainly seasonable & 
proper, and the situation of our affairs such as admitted 
of no delay in deciding explicitly. But to my astonish- 
ment & greif, nearly four months have elapsed and no 
decision obtained; whilst the continent has been in the 
meantime amused with general reports that Congress 
had receiv'd great & good news, and were lull'd into 
security, with the hopes of peace, whilst our enemies 
w r ere meditating for us fire & sword, & all the horrors 
war and barbarity are capable of. I can assure you, Sir, 
that the ingratitude & injustice I have met with (and 
greater few individuals ever suffered under.) have no 
weight with me in comparison with this strange, unac- 
countable, & ruinous delay. The grounds for this delay 
are as unreasonable & unjust (if I am rightly informed,) 
as the consequences are terrible & distressing. I will 
say nothing at present on the state of our currency, only 
that the partial & temporizing measures taken to restore 
its credit have unfortunately effected what I warned the 
promoters of those measures of at the time, & clearly 
though ineffectually pointed out to them before the 
resolutions were taken. I declare that I have ever had 
the highest respect for Congress in general ; I have the 
greatest personal esteem for the majority of its members, 
& most sincerely pity them in their present situation, 
counteracted & defeated by a minority, who uniformly 
persevere, under every circumstance, to support the in- 
terested & even family views of a few individuals. 


When we view our situation, one State intire in the 
possession of the enemy, the capital of another, & with it 
the whole State, threatened with the same fate, the 
enemy ravaging Virginia at pleasure, & hitherto without 
resistance, and waiting only for reinforcements, hourly 
expected, to sally from the capitals of two other States, 
New York & Rhode Island, and attempt the same on the 
whole New England coast ; while in some parts, a real, 
in others, an artificial scarcity prevails, our mone} r of 
almost no value, it is astonishing, & almost incredible, 
that men should sacrifice every thing to partial, inter- 
ested and even family views ; yet such unhappily is the 
case in too many instances, by the intrigues & artifices of 
a cabal, and that composed of a minority. I know not 
how I can at this time render greater service to my 
country than by publishing to the world what I have for 
ten months past been witness to. I have not been. silent 
on the subject to you & to others in my private corre- 
spondance, for I consider the man who at this time holds 
a language which inspires security & brings on inatten- 
tion does this country the most fatal mischeif. I know I 
may be supposed to be & set down as a person sowered 
by personal disappointments & ungrateful treatment; 
beleive me, Sir, tho I have met with a large share of 
both, as I shall soon convince the world of, yet every 
pulse of my heart beats to the same tune as when I first 
started in this glorious cause, every favorable event 
revives me, therefore the present scene, & those opening, 
affect me most sensibly. I do not despise or think lightly 
of the enemy without, but I dread cheifly the enemy 
within, masked under the appearance of freindship and 
patriotism. In a word, unless there be an essential & 
radical change of measures, this country must suffer 
exceedingly ; its national reputation, & honor will be 
blasted, and it will bleed at every pore. My love to my 
country, and justice to my brave & virtuous fellow citi- 

1779.] SILAS DEANE. 395 

zens at large, oblige me to say thus much to you, out of 
the many things I should say to you could I have the 
honor of a personal interview. I am making out an ex- 
act & faithful narrative of my negotiations and proceed- 
ings whilst abroad, which I shall send you next week, 
just such as I delivered Congress five months since. I 
am sorry to be obliged to appeal to the public at large, 
but have the conscious pleasure of knowing that my con- 
duct will bear the examination of the universe. I wish 
that of the cabal had been such as would have borne that 
of their constituents only. It is saying simply the truth 
that ever since the news of the treaty with France, 
effected principally by me, & the arrival of the armament 
from France, proposed and sollicited for solely by me, 
they have turned their whole attention to render both 
the one & the other unsuccessful, or at least they have 
sacrificed both, to the keeping in high office a man, de- 
claredly disagreeable, and suspected by all foreigners, 
whither in high or low rank in life and office, — you can 
be at no loss to know who I mean ; and the copy of my 
last letter to Congress will shew you that I have wrote 
to them with the same freedom as I now write to you. 
I will make no apology for my freedom or prolixity in 
my letters ; did I hold you & your importance in less 
estimation than I do, I should use neither, but consider- 
ing you fortunately at the head of one of the most vir- 
tuous & powerful States in America, of which I shall 
ever boast myself a native & a citizen, and having been 
honored with your freinclship, I write without reserve 
whatever I conceive may be of service to the State to 
know, or of useful intelligence to you. 

I have the honor to be, with the most sincere respect 
& attachment, 

Sir, your most obedient and very hum 1 serv*. 

S. Deaxe. 

Indorsed : 30 th May, 1779. Silas Dean, Esq r , de his Narrative to Con- 
gress — his fears — his detention, &c. rec d 14 th June, 1779. 




On Public Service. His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , "ft 

Lebanon. Free T. Burr. M r Hllldrup is requested to forward 

tills as soon as p'osible. T. Burr. 

Fairfield, July 2 d , 1779. 

Gentlemen, — At a full Town Meeting yesterday we 
were appointed a Committee to write to your Excellency 
and Council of Safety, to inform you of our situation and 
request of your Excellency and Honors some assistance, 
if in your power. On Tuesday Co 1 S* John rec d an ac- 
count that the enemy at Lloyd's Neck, including many 
Tories who have gone from us, had prepared a fleet on 
purpose to harrass and distress our coasts during the busy 
season of harvest, and that they intended to come and 
plunder at Norwalk on Tuesday night or Wednesday 
morning ; in consequence of which Co 1 S l John sent out 
some boats to keep a look out. About twelve o'clock they 
discovered the fleet and the alarm was given, and Co 1 S fc 
John put himself in such a position as prevented their 
landing, notwithstanding the fleet consists of tw r o topsail 
schooners, four sloops, with about 20 guns in the whole, 
and 200 men. Being disappointed of their expectations 
at Norwalk, they made for Compo, and were discovered 
by the guards about 2 o'clock, which occasioned an alarm 
with us ; finding that they could not land there they put 
out and to appearance seemed as tho' they intended to 
return to the island. The people being pritty much beat 
out, part retired to their homes. About seven in the 
forenoon they bore away before the wind and stood 
directly in for Mill River ; as it was very uncertain 
whether they wo'd attempt to land on the east or w r est 
side of the bay, w T e were reduced to the necessity of 
dividing our force, at least we on the east side did not 
think it prudent to send any to the west ; accordingly 


planted ourselves, in number about 70 men, with the field 
piece, behind the banks on the shore, where we supposed 
they wo'd land. 

The enemy first made for the west point of the bay, 
came too with springs upon their cables, within musket 
shoot of three houses and barns, which stand near the 
bank, immediately got into their boats and landed under 
cover of a very heavy firing from the fleet, and before our 
people could collect a sufficient number to oppose them 
set fire to the houses and barns. However our people 
were soon upon them, that they were not on shore more 
than 15 minutes. They stoped the fire from all the 
buildings, except one house and two barns which were 
burned. Immediately after they had reimbarked, they 
up sail and stood directly for the east point, where we 
were posted. As soon as they came within point blank 
shoot of the field piece they hove too, and prepared for 
action. As they had discovered our men, they made no 
move to man their boats for landing ; when it was judged 
best to try them with the field piece. Capt Smedley, Leu* 
Sturgis and a M r Hazzard had the principle management 
of the piece. They fired with deliberation and good judge- 
ment and hulled them five or six times out of eight or nine 
shoot, and after returning us five or six shoot, we obliged 
them to sheer of and make the best of their way from us. 
After they had got out of the reach of our cannon, they 
stood of and on, till sundown. By this time, we had a 
considerable body of men collected, and not knowing but 
they designed further mischief, we doubled our guards, 
for 12 miles on the coast, and lay upon our arms till the 
latter part of the night, when the wind sprung up fresh 
at N. E. and the fleet pushed of. As it appears that the 
fleet is fitted out with express view to alarm and distress 
in the midst of a very busy season we dayly expect them 
again. Now, Gentlemen, what we request is, that the 
galley at Branford may immediately be ordered this way, 


which, in conjunction with Cap* Hawley, who has taken 
the command of the sloop, would entirely prevent thee 
fleet [from] harrising us at this busy time. If she is not 
maned, there are volunteers enough this way. 

If we have not some assistance speedily, we undoubt- 
edly shall lose great part of our wheat & hay. We there- 
fore beg } T our Excellency and Honors wo'd do what lays 
in your power to give us some relief. 

We are, with due respect and esteem, 
Your Excellency & Honors' 

Most ob* and very hum. serv ts . 

Sam l Squire, "j 

Jonathan Sturges, > Com e . 
Tiiad 8 Burr, J 

P. S. We are in want of some three pound ball, grape 
shot, match rope, and flints, pray direct where we may 
have them. Yours, &c. 

Indorsed: July 2 nd , 1779. Committee of Fairfield, de their situation, re- 
questing the sloop Guilford may be sent to their relief. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. By M r Lyman. 

High Lands, 5 July, 1779. 

Dear Sir, — Your esteemed letter came to Jiand this 
day by Serf Lyman. I wish I could give you the partic- 
ulars of affairs at the southward ; there remains no doubt 
of our successes in that quarter, but no official letters 
have yet reached camp. It is not improbable the late 
embarkation at R. Island is designed that way. I hardly 
think the posts in these Highlands are the object. The 
acquisition upon a moderate calculation will probably cost 
them more men than they would chuse to risque, unless 


they should be greatly reinforced. They have all along 
given out their expectations of 7 or 8 thousand ; I believe 
by best accounts they have had reason to expect about 
4,000. Their strength at Verplank's Point & the opposite 
shore is not far from 12 hundred ; the ground is pecu- 
liarly circumstanced to render their situation secure with 
the assistance of a few arm'd vessels. His Excellency's 
intention is to complete the works at West Point in 
the first place, that that post may stand alone ; he will 
then operate as circumstances may require. I hope 
he will be able before long to form a camp in West 
Chester County to prevent the excursions & ravages 
of the enemy. 

I have heard but little said lately of the expectation of 
a French fleet on our coast. I should be afraid to hear 
of one at this season, lest they should call upon us for 
supplies of flour, unless they would do their business 
expeditiously. It seems as if a few ships might do great 

We have just recieved intelligence that Col. Clark, who 
commands a party on the frontiers of Virginia, has pene- 
trated the Indian settlements, burnt several towns and 
destroyed a large quantity of grain ; that Governor 
Hamilton is in irons in Virginia for his malpractices.* 

Please to give my love to mother, son, brothers & 
sisters ; if I have time shall write Jabez ; and am, clear 

Your affectionate & obedient son & servant, 

Jed. Huntington. 

His Excellency Gov. Trumbull. 

Indorsed: July 5 th , 1779. B. Gen 1 Huntington, de Enemy. Col Clark 
penetrated the Indian settlements, burnt & destroy'd some of their towns. 
Gov r Hamilton in irons for malpractices. 

* Henry Hamilton. Lieutenant-Governor c r Detroit, surrendered to Col. George Rogers 
Clarke, in February, 1779, and was carried to Virginia, where he was imprisoned for a time, 
but was afterward released. See Sharks' a Writings of Washington, vol. vi. pp. 316, 317 n. 
— Eds. 



His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, JEsq r , Lebanon. 

Guilford, July 7 th , 1770. 

May it please your Excellency, — In my last of 
the 5 th I informed your Excellency that the enemy had 
landed at Newhaven ; they began landing- the west side 
and were in possession of the town before noon. I now 
have to inform you that they embark d last evening be- 
fore dark and stood to the southward. I arrived at East- 
haven with about 40 men as soon as possible, where I 
found Col Russel with about the same number; the 
enemy had likewise landed a large party on the east 
side who were in possession of the heights by the lower 
ferry. I desired Col Russel, with what men he had and 
as they came in, to defend the village as well as he could, 
as men were fast coming in he would soon be stren^thned, 
and went over to Col Sabin who was retreated to the 
height the west side of Neck Bridge. Col Cook was with 
him with a few men, not more than 100. I went over 
to Cheshire Road, where I found several Cap ts with a few 
men, and Maj r Smith on the Derby road with a small 
party ; from those two roads we kept up a constant fire 
till night. Next morning Gen 11 Hart came in, and we 
were informed early that the enemy were in motion. 
We marched with all the troops we had to the town & 
found they had landed on the east side. I crossed im- 
mediately with Col Cook's reg fc to join Col° Russel ; the 
enemy were so advantageously posted on the heights that 
we could not do so much as we wished, but most of the 
afternoon was spent skirmishing with them till they left 
the shore. They have burn d houses on the east side, but 
none in the town except some stores on the wharf, tho 

* Andrew Ward, of Guilford. Conn., was appointed a Brigadier-General of Militia in 
May. 1777. and served on alarms during the War of the Revolution. See Record of Con- 
necticut Men during the Revolution, p. 430. — Eds. 

1779.] PETER COLT. 401 

they have plundered considerably. Their force consisted 
by the best accounts of between three & four thousand, 
commanded by Gov r Tryon. We have taken about 20 ; 
their loss in killed & wound believe to be considerable. 
Our loss in killed about 20 & some wounded. Several 
deserters came in. I have the pleasure of assuring your 
Excellency that the militia turned out with great cheer- 
fulness, tho many could not arrive in season. As the 
ships were out of sight, & the men very pressing to be 
at harvest, dismis d them this morning. Since I set down 
to write, an express arrived from the westward, inform- 
ing that the enemy are landing at Fairfield ; have ordered 
the western part of Col Russel & Cook's regiments to 
march imed iately, and the whole in case they are wanted. 
I have the honour to be, your Excellency's 

Most obec?, hum le serv*. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. ANDREW WARD. 

P. S. The sloop Guilford being in the harbour was 
carried off by the enemy & some valuable vessels burnt. 
Some of the inhabitants were carried off, among them 
John Whiting, Esq r . A. W. 

Col Sabin with a number of the inhabitants made a 
noble stand till overpowered by numbers. 

Indorsed : July 7 th , 1779. B. Gen 1 Ward, de enemy's evacuating N. Haven. 
Town plundered. 20 men killed on our side. Landed at Fairfield. 


Public Service. His Excellency Gouernour Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Weathersfield, July 8, 1779. 

May it please y* Excellency, — Last evening I 
returnd from N. Haven, whether I had been to make 

* From the record of the meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety, July 9, it 
appears that a letter was " received from Mr. Colt giving the most particular account yet 
had of the enemy's proceedings, &c. at N. Haven." (See Public Records of Connecticut, 
May, 1778 -April, 178'J, p. 3.j6.) Poter Colt, of New Haven, was a graduate of Yale Col- 
lege in the class of 1704. During the War of the Revolution he was deputy quartermaster- 



provision for the troops. As it appears your Excellency 
has not had a particul. account of this expedition, shall 
attempt it. The fleet anchord off N. Haven Sunday 
night. The people were not alarmed untill morning, 
when they were standing in for the harbour, about GO 
or 70 sail, mostly ships. They were commanded by Sir 
G. Collier; the land forces by Gov r Tryon. Gen. Garth 
commanded under him. Tryon landed with the troops 
at Morris Cove, on the east side, & Garth at W. Haven. 
The guards made a vigorous opposition at both places — 
howe[ve]r in about an hour the troops were landed ; 
those on the east side gaind Beacon Hill, & drove our 
small garrison of about 20 men out of the fort, when the 
gallies & gun boats came into the harbour & burnt the 
vessells. In the meantime M r J. Hillhous went out with 
a party to west side, about 50 men, part of them he left 
at W. brid[g]e & the others went forward to Milford 
Hill, where they met the advanced party of the enemy, 
whom they repulsed repeatedly. When the enemy were 
reinforced our people fought them on a retreat untill 
they came to the brid[g]e when they repulsed the 
enemy. They then filed off and went round by West 
Field to the head of the river, our people hanging on 
their rear & keeping up a scaterd fire on them. They 
formed their whole body & marchd in a colom across the 
river, repulsed our people who had been collected there 
to the number of about 100 ; they retreated into town, 
fighting the enemy on the way. Our, people then re- 
treated out of town by Gallows Hill, took up the bridge 
& there made a stand. The town was immediately given 
up to plunder, tho the orders were not to plunder those 
houses where the people were at home & not in arms ; how- 
ever that did not protect them from the soldiery. They 
plunderd Whigs & Tories alike, tho not universally. 

general for the eastern departm mt, and afterward an assistant commissary-general of pur- 
chases. After the war he removed to New Jersey, and subsequently to Rome, X. Y., where 
he died. See Hinman's Early Settlers of Connecticut, p. 676. — Eds. 

1779.] PETER COLT. 403 

M r J° Hotchkiss was kill at Milford Hills, I). Austin, 
Ju r , was badly wounded k several others. President 
Daggett was made prisoner there, and greatly abused ; 
was not only thretned, but repeatly staped with bayo- 
nets. They finally spared his life, k drove him round the 
liver head k into town, where he lay till next day in the 
greatest distress, when our people found him k took care 
of him. "We have lost about 20 killd k as manj^ wounded. 
Old M r Beers was shot in his own house ; he lies danger- 
ously ill. Several people were killd in town that were 
not under arms; those who fell by the wayside of their 
wounds were butcherd by the enemy k left unboned. 
They have taken away several of the inhabitants ; sup- 
pose betwixt 30 & 40 men, besides those who went vol- 
untarily, viz., Jos. Chandler k family, his son J° Chandler 
k Amos Botsford & their families k Camp k family. I 
cannot enumerate all the houses that were rifled, M rs 
Wooster's, Parsons Edwards k his brothers, M r Todd's, 
Deacon Lyman's, M r Sherman's, Parson Whittelsey's, M* 
Tim Jones, Mr. Drake's k M 1 * Buell's are the worst 
damaged. Cap 1 John Mix, M r Sabin & J° Whiting, Esq., 
are amongst those who are carried off. The enemv £ot 
possession of the town about 11 clock, Monday, k left 
it about 9 clock, Tuesday, when they sent boats k fired 
the stores on the wharf; about 4 w T ere burnt; they kept 
up a fire on the town from the gallies good part of that 
day. About sunset our people drove them on board 
from Easthaven, when the fleet made sail k stood out 
of the harbour. Next morning the militia were dismissd 
k went home. We could hear nothing of the fleet. The 
loss of the British is uncertain ; they acknowledge the 
loss of several valuable officers k men ; we took several 
prisoners; k several deserted. 

The grain k corn is not hurt, no fences destroyd, the 
enemy never venturd out of town. They carried of some 
small stock k a few cows from town ; believe they killd 


& carried of more from east side, perhaps 30 or 40 head. 
The}' retreatd in great hurry & confusion. 1 have seen 
one of the addresses to the good people of Connecticut, 
from whence it appears that this force is designed to 
dragoon this State into a sense of British clemency & the 
mildness of their government. They say that every 
house left standing is a monument of their clemency & our 
ingratitude to his Majesty, &c, and seem to threten us 
with utter distinction, unless we speedily return to our 
allegiance. The officers enquired about the distance & 
situation of N. Lorid., from whence we expectd they 
would proceed thither. They talkd of going by land ; as 
the wind was not fair they went westard. Yesterday as 
T rettirnd home, heard the report of many canon ivesiarcl, 
conclude at Fairfield k that the enemy will land there. 
But as the whole country is alarmd hope they will be 
repulsed there also. They acknowledge our people 
fought desperatly, & they say madly. The enemy had 
no expectation of such opposition. 

Your Excellency will excuse any erratas in this hasty 
scrawle, as I have not leisure to copy it. Am, with the 
greatest esteem, 

Your Exc ys obd*, hum 1 serv\ 

His Excellency Jon* Trumbull, Esq. PETER COLT. 

Indorsed : July 8 th , 1779. Peter Colt, Esq r . Narrative of the proceed- 
ings of the enemy at New Haven. 


Public Service. His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

P express. 

Stratford, 9 th July, 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — I esteem it my 
duty to acquaint your Excellency of the alarming circum- 

* Samuel Whiting, of Strat f ord, was appointed Colonel of the Fourth Regiment of Con- 
necticut militia, composed of companies from Fairfield and Stratford, in Oct., 1776, and 
continued in command of the regiment until 1780. See Record of Connecticut Men in the 
Revolution, p. 433. — Eds. 

1779.] SAMUEL WHITING. 405 

stances of the towns on the coast through the State. 
After the depredations of the enemy at New Haven they 
landed on Wednesday , about 4 P. M., at Fairfield, & as 
their force was greatly superior to the numbers we were 
able to collect on so sudden occasion, they marched into 
town with very little resistance. About sun-set Gen 1 
Tryon sent a flag by M r Sayer, with the enclos'd address, 
allowing me an hour for my answer, adding he would 
not be answerable for the security of the town, if I hesi- 
tated to comply ; but before I had half read it, near half 
the town was in flames. The whole of it, except six or 
seven houses, was consum'd by morning, as also great 
part of the Parish of Green's-farms, Mill Biver, & other 
houses along shore, by parties. They then left the place 
precipitately, & we having a considerably body collected 
harrass'd them very much at their embarkation, till after- 
noon when they all got on board & stood over for Long- 
Island, & then bore away to the eastward as far as 
against Stratford. This morning the}' are standing to 
the westward. Tis conjeetur'd Norwalk is their next 
object; some deserters confirm it, & some say they are 
going to New London. Their force, by the best intelli- 
gence, is upwards of 3,000. 

I have the honor to be, your Excellency's most ob fc , 
hum 1 ser. 

[_Ao signature,'] 

The number of killd on our side 9 or 10; the enemy's 
much more ; we took several prisoners. 

Indorsed : July 9* h , 1779. Col° Whiting, de burning of Fairfield. 



New Haven, July 9 ,h , 1779. 

Sir, — Before this 3-011 have doubtless been informed 
of the maloncoly situation of this town. Leiv* Col 1 
Sabins is this moment informed by express, that a body 
of the enemy consisting of 6,000 foot k 1,000 horse are at 
Eye, on their way eastward ; their design is said to be to 
form a junction with the fleet now lying off Stratford, 
which yesterday laid the town of Fairfield in ashes, ex- 
cepting 4 or 5 houses, as we are credibly informed. We 
have reason to expect notwithstanding they have plun- 
dered this town, that their design is to burn it as they 
have Fairfield, from the threatning, we understand, they 
have given out. Therefore we beg your Exelencey to 
give us assistance as soon as possible. We further inform 
your Excelencey we are in great w r ant of flints, none can 
be obtained in this town, should be glad of 3 or 4 thou- 
sand by the bearer. John Whiteing Esqr, Cap* John Mix, 
M r Hezekiah Sabin, and several other persons are taken 
prisoners from this town ; we wish the most spedy 
measures may be taken for their excange. 

We are, with due respect & esteem, 

Your Excellency's obedient, humble servants, 

Sam l Bishop J*. 


David Austin. 
Jon th FiTcn. 
James Gilbert. 
Ne h emi ah Smith. 
Abraham Augur. 
Isaac Doolittle. 

Indorsed : July 9 th , 1779. Selectmen & Civil Authority of New Haven, 

dt their situation, danger of further distress, want assistance. 



On Fublich Service. His Excellency Gov r Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Hartford, July 10 th , 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — The present 
alarming situation of the sea coasts and frontiers of this 
State, two of our most opulent and flourishing towns hav- 
ing already felt the infuriate rage of a merciless and 
unrelenting enemy, the one laid in ashes, the other plun- 
dered and the inhabitants insulted and abused, another 
division of their army on the inarch from Kingsbridge 
by land via Greenwich into this State, while the arma- 
ment which lately left Fairfield are only taking breath & 
are every moment expected to return with redoubled 
fury to make a descent upon some part of our sea coast, 
doth loudly call for our utmost exertions to prevent their 
further depredations, and incusions into this State, make 
no doubt of your Excellency's being not only apprized of 
these matters, but that you are with unremitting dilli- 
gence taking every practicable measure for the safety of 
the inhabitants, which in our apprehensions must much 
depend on the spiritd behaviour of the militia, and their 
being properly furnished and equipt for to make a bold 
and manly defence, without which have reason to believe 
that their well meant attempts in their country's defence 
will prove abortive in this part of the State, w T e have too 
much reason to fear that that will be the case, especialky 
for want of a number of field pieces properly furnished, 
which we are destitute of. The occasion of the present 

* Benjamin Payne, of Hartford, was educated for the bir, and was admitted to practice 
in 1702. He was a deputy to the General Assembly and clerk of the House, a very active 
member of the Council of Safety, and Judtre of Probate. He died in 1782. See Mem 'rial 
Hi-tory of Hartford County, vol. i. p. 121: Connecticut Colonial Records, vols, xii.-xv.; 
Public Records of Connecticut, 0>.t., 1770-April, 1780, passim; Payne Family Records, 
vol. i. p. 176. — Eds. 


application therefore is to begg your Excellency's advice 
& interposition in behalf of this State, for the purpose of 
procuring eight or ten field pieces with all their appar- 
atus, from the artillery at Springfield, to be lent to this 
State for their present security and defence. This we 
apprehend to be highly necessary, and that no time ought 
to be lost, we earnestly therefore intreat your Excellency 
to take the matter with all its importance into your wise 
& benign consideration, and procure the necessary article 
of defence aforementioned, which appears to us essentially 
necessary to stop the progress of the enemy. 
We are, with the highest esteem & regard, 

Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servants. 

Benj: Payne. 
Oliver Ellsworth. 

P. S. We inclose your Excellency a hand bill printed 
here this day, containing some intelligence rec d from 
Middle town this day. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


To His Excellency Gov r Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Windham, July 10 th , 1779. 

May it please your Excelency, — Persuent to your 
orders of the 21 st ult° I have been through the fifth 
brigade in this State, have met almost every company 
of militia in it at their several places of perade ; after 
publishing your proclamation and the generous incour- 
a^ements therein contained, I used everv reasonable 

* By a resolve of the Governor and Council of Safety of Connecticut, June IS. 1779. 
Major John Ripley of the 5 h Brigade was appointed, with Aaron Cleveland and four other 
officers, "toialist men into the continental army during the war." See Public Recoris 
of Connecticut, May, 1778-April, 1780, p. 354. —Eds. 

1779.] CALEB BULL, JR. 409 

argument in my power to induce the men to ingage for 
dureing the war or until! the 15 day of Jan y next. I 
have spared no pains by day nor by night to obtain them, 
and have Misted only two for dureing the war, and four 
to serve till y e 15 th of Jan y next, which is all that I have 
ingaged for either term ; should been happy in procur- 
ing more but I am confident its not throng my neglect. 
I therefore trust my indeavours will be acceptable, which 
concludes me, your Excelency's most obed t & very humb e 

John ParLEY. 

Indorsed : Maj r Johii Ripley, recruiting officer, return 10 July, 1779. 


Stratford, 12 th July, 7 o'clock, A. M. 

Gentlemen, — By Cap* Robert Walker, who left Xor- 
walk yesterday at 2 o'clock, P. M., I am informed the 
enemy from the fleet landed Saturday evening in two 
parties, one the east and the other the west side of the 
harbour, about 2,500 in the whole ; at day break the next 
morning they marched to town, and set fire to the same 
at six o'clock, which has consumed the whole, except a 
few scattering houses. There was considerable opposi- 
tion made by a small number of Continental and militia 
troops, commanded by Generals Wolcott and Parsons, 
but the opposition was to but little purpose. There was 
a small number killed on both sides ; about two o'clock 
the enemy embarked, and the fleet still remained in the 
harbour. Cap* Walker further informs that the enemj r , 
which came out by Kingsbridge, yesterday morning set 

* Caleb Bull, Jr., of Hartford, Conn., the eldest of twelve children, was born Jan. 16, 
1746, and died Feb. 12, 171)7. He seems to ,iave been a prosperous merchant, and to have 
left a large estate. (See Hinman's Early Puritan Settlers of Connecticut, p. 364) This 
letter is printed from a copy in the handwriting of Titus Hosmer, enclosed in a letter from 
him to Governor Trumbull. — Lds. 


fire to Bedford in York State, 10 or 15 miles northwest 
of Stanford, and then retired towards Kin^sbrido-e. Their 
next movement is uncertain, but Stratford and Million! 
expect them next ; the intelligence Cap* Walker gives 
concerning the enemy's setting fire to Bedford and retir- 
ing towards Kingsbridge, he gets by information at Nor- 
walk. The distresses of the people this way are very 
great; Cap* Walker left the camp at "Westpoint, Saturday 
morning 5 o'clock, at which time his Excellency General 
Washington had received intelligence of the fate of Fair- 
field ; no orders for any Continental troops to march 
from there, neither hath any marched, as hath been 
reported ; Cap* Walker supposes there will none leave 
his Excll ey , unless the enemy's main body should proceed 
this way. 

I am, Gentlemen, with much esteem, 

Your humble servant, 

Caleb Bull, Jun\ 

To Rich* Law, Esq 1 ", Pierpoint Edwards, Esq r , D r Bull, Titus Hos- 
mer, Esq r , & Col Thomas Seymour, &c. 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Norwich, 13 July, 1779. 
Sir, — Persuant to your Excellency's orders and ver- 
bal advice, I have had collected most of the militia 
companies in this town, have laid before them your 
Excellency's proclamation, togeatlier with every stimu- 
lating argument I could make use of, in order to arrouse 

* Aaron Cleveland was born in East Haddam, Conn., Feb. 3. 1744. but spent most of 
his active life in Norwich. "It has been claimed for him that he was the first writer in 
Connecticut to call in question the lawfulness tf slavery and to argue against it." After 
the close of the war he became a Congregational minister, and was settled for a short 
time at Brampton. Vt. He died ia New Haven, Sept. 21, 1815. See Miss Caulldns's 
History of Norwich, p. 520. — Ed^. 

1779.] SAMUEL II. PARSONS. 411 

the martial fire once more to a flame, at this finishing 
period of the war ; but arguments seam ineffectual, nor 
does vour Excellency's proclamation with the generous 
incouragements proffer'd by the Assembly, avail. In 
short, S r , 1 have not inlisted a single man tho' have taken 
unweari'd pains. I was at Newlondon on the late alarm, 
and did intend to have laid your Excellency's proclama- 
tion before the whole brigade at once, and appli'd to 
Gen rl Tyler for that purpose, who said he would in- 
deavour to give me an opportunity, but the confusion the 
men were in, and finely their dismission, prevented ; nor 
could I justly have expected any success had it ben 
otherwise, judging from late experience. Shall wate 
your Excellency's further instructions. 
I am, your Excellency's 

Most obedient, humble servant. 

Aaron Cleveland. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : July 13, 1779. Aaron Cleveland, de ill success in recruiting 
men for the Continental service. 


Public Service. To His Excellency Governor Trumbull. Lebanon. 

Stamford, 17 th July, 79. 

Sir, — The depredations of the enemy upon the sea 
coasts of the State General Wolcott has doubtless partic- 
ularly inform* you of. The destruction at Norwalk is 
what I have been a witness to; 132 dwelling houses, 
meeting house & church included, 87 barns, 22 store 
houses, 17 shops, 4 mills, & 5 vessels were burnt, with 
the wheat, hay, &c, which had been gatherd in. The 
wretches went of with so much precipitation as left them 
no opportunity of committing the ourtrages on the per- 
sons of the inhabitants, which in other places they have 


been guilty of; enough however appeard to demonstrate 
the continuance of their hellish temper. Several oi our 
soldiers, who appear to have been first wounded, were 
found with their skulls blow'd off by muskets discharg* 
into them after they were wounded. 

In the distres d state of the country I beg liberty to 
urge the necessity of immediately raising the two State 
regiments & filling the army. The calling the militia 
from their labours at this season, from distant parts of 
the State, not only exceedingly distresses the country, 
but no very valuable purpose can be answerd by it. In 
this desultory war the enemy are gone before they can 
collect & form into a proper body of opposition. If 1,000 
men were rais d and properly organ is d , and an act was 
pas d to enable them to be mounted on the horses in the 
vicinity of their station, on any descent on a distant 
town, they will always be able to arrive sooner than a 
body of militia can be collected from any considerable 
distance, and will be always ready for immediate action, 
and will give such a check to the progress of the enemy 
as will give time for collecting a greater force on neces- 
sary occasions. Filling our quota of the army will enable 
the General to station a force in the State to assist in its 
defence. I am inclind to beleive they have gone thro 
their present intentions, as the fleet are returnd to New 
York & the army on the borders of the State seem to 
be withdrawing ; this will give time, if improv d , to make 
our preparations to receive their next visit in a proper 

I know our militia are as brave as any men ; but I 
have been the unhappy wittness of the inefficacy of their 
opposition, arising principally from the want of their col- 
lecting in a proper organis d state, so as to unite the force 
to be us d in attacking the enemv. I wish some effectual 
measures could be immediately taken to remedy this 
evil. General Wolcctt who is here will point out more 

1779.] JOHN WILLARD. 413 

particularly what in his opinion is necessary to secure 
the State. 

I am, with esteem & respect, 

Y r Excellency's obed 1 serv\ 

Sam l II. Parsons. 

Indorsed: July 17, 1779. B. General Parsons, de necessity of raising the 
State battalions & filling up the Cont. army. 


To Bis Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq r , Governor, Captain- 
General, &c n , over the State of Connecticut, at Lebanon. 

Stafford, July 29, 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — I beg leave to 
address you upon an affair which very nearly concerns 
me. I would inform you, Sir, that my son, the bearer, 
was lately detached for the term of seven months. You 
will permit me to assign reasons why he ought not (as I 
presume) to be detached, to go into the service for so 
long a time. 

He is the only person in my family that is capable of 
bearing arms. My eldest son (naturally of a slender 
make) has had his constitution broken by repeated fits 
of sickness. He has, on this account, ever been exempted 
from military services. He has been under an incapacity 
of supporting himself. I. have been at a very consider- 
able expence in providing for him. 

The only son I have, besides the two mentioned, is but 
in his 13 th year. 

You will permit me, Sir, to ooserve further, that M r9 
Willard, by several fits of sickness, has been reduced to a 
very low state of health; & for several years past has 

* Rev. John Willard was born in Biddeford, Me., Jan. 28, 1732-3, graduated at Har- 
vard College, in 1751, and was settled in Stafford, Conn., where he died Feb. 16, 1807, after 
a ministry of more than fifty years. See Allen's Biographical Dictionary, p. 859. — Eds. 


been almost constantly under the care of a physician, to 
my no small charge. 

And my own health has been but indifferent for several 
years. Am now incapable of bearing hardships. 

I beg leave of your Excellency to observe further (but 
do it at the same time with great reluctance,) that my 
salary from the people (originally very scanty, viz*, but 
c£60 pr. annum) has, for these two years past, been re- 
duced to one third (or probably less) of its original value. 
Within two years I have suffered the loss of above eighty 
pounds, silver money, which was due from the parish, 
according to the true spirit of the original contract. 
This is a fact which few, if any, of the people will pre- 
tend to controvert. 

Having but a small estate, & my former income having 
been so very much reduced, I do not see how I could 
have supported my family, & performed my pastoral ser- 
vices, these two years past, withouf the labor of my son 
who is now detached. 

Your Excellency will be pleased to excuse this minute 
detail of family circumstances, with which I should by 
no means have troubled you without urgent necessity, 
as I humbly think. 

As to my son's military services, I will beg leave, Sir, 
to observe that in about 4 months after he was 16 years 
of age he was detached (agreeably to a late law of this 
State to divide companies into classes) & marched chear- 
fullj 7 to North River soon after the Convention at Sara- 
toga, & was absent 2 months. That a great part of the 
militia that have marched from this place from time to 
time, since his return, have been absent but about a 
month. That according to the mode of classing com- 
panies his turn is not come round. There are three able- 
bodied men, at least, who have not been in the service 
since his return, as appears from the roll. 

I ask not, may it please your Excellency, to be exempt 

1779.] JOHN WILLAKD. 415 

from bearing, in common with my fellow-citizens, the 
burdens of the day. But I humbly request that my bur- 
dens may not be in a three-fold proportion to that of the 
generality of the people among whom I live. And that 
the pastoral services I mean to perform, notwithstand- 
ing past discouragements, may not be so lessened as they 
must be should my son, who contributes so much to the 
support of my family, be taken from me for so long a 
time. The tax imposed upon me by the parish (if I may 
so express it) would have hired several men for the Con- 
tinental service. 

Added to my other special difficulties, I beg leave to 
acquaint you, Sir, that my eldest son is sick with the 
dysentery. His physician tells me the disorder has been 
pretty severe. I need not observe to you that when a 
severe fit of sickness seizes but one member of a family, 
it takes up much of the care & time of the adult persons 
in it. This is the case with us at present. And it would 
be rather uncommon, should all the other members of 
the family escape so contagious a distemper. 

Your Excy will be pleased to take my case into con- 
sideration ; & if it can be done consistently I beg the 
favor that my son may be released from the present 

I w r ould, in person, have waited upon you; but the dis- 
tressing sickness in my family forbids it, & must be my 

I am, with due respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient 

& very humble servant, 

John Willard. 

Indorsed : July 29 th , 1779. Rev' 1 Jii° Willard's Letter, de his son drafted 
into service & requesting his release. 



To his Excellency, Jonathan Trumbull, l£sq r , Governor & Com- 
mander in Chief of the State of Connecticut, this Petition 
humlhj sheiceth : 

That above thirty years the Rev d Matthew Graves has 
officiated at New-London as Minister of the Church of 
England, during which time he has endeavor' d con- 
scientiously to discharge his trust, having never busied 
himself in any disputes or controversies, religious or 
political : 

That since this unhappy war he has been oblig'd to 
desist his public ministration, &, in obedience to y e laws 
of the land, has not negotiated any bills for his salary 
from England, has spent the greater part of his estate, 
& sold some of his household furniture & a negroe to 
procure the necessaries of life : 

Therefore he prays your Excellency's permission to 
remove himself, family & remaing effects to Long-Island, 
where, by selling his bills, he may be supported ; & so 
prevent those calamitous circumstances into which he fears 
he must otherwise be reduc'd, having in the last winter 
been often destitute of the necessaries of life : & your 
Petitioner, as in duty bound, shall ever pray. 

Matt. Graves. 

New-London, August 3 d , 1770. 

Indorsed : Rev d Matth w Graves, Memorial August 4 h , 1779. Granted. 

* Rev. Matthew Graves was sent over from England by the Society for propagating 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and was rector of the Episcopal Church in New London, 
Conn., for more than thirty years. On the breaking out of the War of the Revolution he 
gave great offence to many of the citizens, and was forcibly removed from the pulpit for 
continuing to read the prayers for the King and the royal family. In Aug., 1779. he re- 
ceived permission to go within the enemy's lines. He died in New York April 5. 17S0. 
See Miss Caulkins's History of New London, pp. 445-447 ; Sabine's American Loyalists, 
vol. i. pp. 487, 4S8; Public Records of Connecticut, May, 1778-April, 17S0, p. 381. — Eds. 



Neilson's Point, G August, 1779. 

Dear Sir, — By a Resolution of Congress, appoint- 
ments in the State line of the Continental army are to be 
made by the chief executive authority of the States re- 
spectively. You will probably soon have returns made 
for this purpose from commanding officers of regiments. 
I beg leave to suggest the necessity of the sd. authority's 
having accurate lists of their officers k their relative rank 
from the Board of War. I have no reason to think the 
commanding; officers of regiments will nominate any for 
promotion who have not the right of succession without 
mentioning the deviation and very cogent reasons for it, 
but should the late arrangement be departed from, it will 
throw the army again into the greatest confusion. As 
to new appointments I could wish there might be few or 
none ; the present number of officers is more than ade- 
quate to the number of men that we have or shall prob- 
ably receive. If sergeants are promoted they lessen our 
real strength, besides upon becoming officers they have 
new and necessary wants which cannot easily be sup- 
plied, and therefore they will add to the number of the 
discontented, who are too numerous already. 

Among the recruits from Massachusetts there are found 
some men who were not long since discharged from the 
army for disability; it is not unlikely that individuals k 
the public may be imposed on in Connecticut by such 
characters; many have been discharged from the army 
who to appearance are fit for duty, but who from long 
experience are found to be only a dead weight k deceit 
to the armv ; thev are labouring under rheumatic dis- 
orders, bursts, weak habits of body, &c, &c. In fair 
weather k light duty they are of some little service, but 
in general only an embarrassment k expence to the army 



& the public. Several of this class among the Massa- 
chusetts recruits have been mustered out, & some boys. 
I hope it will not be the case with any of those who may 
come from Connecticut. 

ll'\ Since writing the above, I have been desired 
by General Putnam to send you the arrangement of the 
officers of my brigade which I have accordingly done 
regimentally. The officers mentioned not commissioned 
have had as yet only temporary appointments, the com- 
manding officers of reg ts will recommend them to be 
confirmed. The right of succession is theirs; and they 
are deserving the places. 

14' A . Some prisoners taken below & examined yester- 
day tell of 13 ships going from N. York some days ago 
& returning much shatter' d & that a fleet of French ships 
were gone up the Delaware, but the account wants ex- 
planation. The army is in fine health & spirits. I 
thought we should have, before this, completed the works 
at these posts, but the fruitful invention of the engineers, 
& sometimes their changibility, have protracted them. 

Please to remember me to all as due, & believe me, 
your affectionate & most obedient servant. 

Jed. Huntington. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : August 6 th & 14 th , 1779. B. General Huntington, de promo- 
tions in the Connecticut Line, &c, rec d 17 th Aug 1 , ins 1 . 


His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Saybrook, August 6 th , 1779. 

May it please your Excellency,, — Last evening 
Cap* Rogers boat came from the Island with young M r 

* William Worthington entered the military service in 1776, and continued in it until 
the closfi of the War of the Revolution. He was also a Justice of the Peace for the County 
of New London, and often a deputy from Saybrouk to the General Assembly. — Eds. 


Deering on board ; he inform that Lord Corn wall is had 
arriv d in York and was to take the chief coniand, that he 
came in the Greyhound frigate, and had brought no re- 
cruits with him, and none had arri'd as yet, & that Col 1 
Edm d Fanning had, on the Heights at East Haven, receiv d 
a mortal wound in his neck, by a musquet shot, and 
given over by his surgeons. This account Phinehas 
Fanning ^ives who had been to see his brother. M r 
Deering informs that the ship Oliver Cromwell is 
now in Huntington Bay, fitted out (by the name of 
the Restoration) as a commodore of a fleet of Tories, 
&c, for the purpose of ravaging our coasts on a smaller 

I earnestly request your Excellency to order a couple 
of field pieces for the use of my reg* as others have. I 
hope such a thing may be thought expedient. I am 
perswaded they may be of very great utility. I would 
propose that one should be station* 3 in Saybrook and the 
other in Guilford. T would endeavour a good use should 
be made of them. Station* thus near the sea shore they 
may (if well pay d ) be a means of preventing an enemy 
from landing, while those at Middletown and Hartford 
would probably arrive too late to answer so good a pur- 
pose ; w 7 ould gladly be in a position to yeald all the ser- 
vice in my pow r er, wish a line from your Excellency, with 
regard to this and the other matter touch d upon from 
Newhaven, enclosd by Gen 11 Ward, See. I am your 
Excellency's most obedient, humble serv\ 


Indorsed: August 6 th , 1779. Col Worthington, de intelligence from 
Long Island, requests a field piece may be stationed at Saybrook. 




We the subscribers, being appointed to repair to New 
London & Groton, view the fortifications & works at those 
posts, confer with the commanding officers there, to con- 
salt and advise every measure necessary generally for 
defence, and report make, Take leave to report that we 
repaired to New London & Groton, and on the 5 th instant, 
with the officers commanding there, inqu[i]red into the 
matters refered to in our appointment, and find that 
Fort Trumbull is in the same condition as for many 
months past, that there are ten cannon mounted, of the 
size mentioned in a late return by Maj r Ledyard. That 
the fort at Town Hill is nearly compleated, except the 
gate & barracks which are going on. The platforms laid, 
some cannon mounted, the residue were to be yesterday; 
the whole number two 12 lb , three 9 3b , & seven 6 lb cannon. 
That it is judged adviseable the fort should be inclosed 
with an abbatis. That at New London there are two 12 lb 
& two 3 lb cannon mounted on travailing carriages. That 
Fort Griswold is in good condition, except the abbatis, 
which it was judged advisable to have immediately re- 
paired. That there are twenty four cannon mounted, of 
the size mentioned in a late return by Maj* Ledyard. 
That the battery at Groton is in c;ood condition and eight 
cannon mounted thereon, of the size described in Maj r Led- 
yard's late return. That the redoubt is yet unfinished, 
but may be soon compleated if proper tools can be pro- 
vided. That there are at Groton one 12 ib & two 4 lb can- 
non on travainlmg carriages. That there are at Norwich, 

* For notice of James Wadsworth. see .inte, p. 377 n. Nathaniel Wales. Jr., of Wind- 
ham, was a very active and influential person, serving as a deputy from that town, as a 
member of the Council of Safety, and in other capacities. Das id Mumford, of Norwich, 
was appointed a member of the Council of Safety in May, 177$. — Eds. 


Preston, and places adjacent 33,700 musquet cartridges, 
also 44,000 at New London and in the hands of the mili- 
tia. That there are at New London fit for duty 1,111 rank 
& file, at Groton 551. That there are under the com- 
mand of Brig? Gen 1 Tuler about 2,300 men, officers in- 
cluded, a weekly return of which we have desired him to 
make to the Cap* General. That the time of service of 
the companies commanded by Captains Cary, Williams, 
& Deshon, amounting to 176 men, expires on Tuesday 
next. That there are at Norwich four 6 lb cannon which 
may be used at any post where necessary, for which Cap* 
John Deshon desires to exchange an equal number of 
longer, & purchase two more if to be had. That we re- 
connoitered the grounds adjoyning the harbour of New 
London and the points of land on each side, and find that 
in calm weather a landing from boats may be made in so 
many places that it is very uncertain whether the erect- 
ing further works to prevent a landing of the enemy 
would answer any valuable end. That on consultation 
with Gen 1 Tuler & the field officers, they gave it as their 
oppinion that to man the fortifications it will be necessary 
to have in Fort Trumbull 80 men, fort on Town Hill 250, 
Fort Griswold & battery 550, officers included. That it is 
necessary to be further supplyed with two ton of cannon 
powder, 5,000 flints, and one ton of lead, about two hun- 
dred pounds weight of which we have desired Gen 1 Hun- 
tington, who has the same in his custody, to forward 
immediately to Maj r Ledyard. That it is necessary six- 
teen draft horses be provided for the use of the field 
pieces & amunition waggons, which we think most advis- 
able to be procured from the Deputy Qua r Master at 
Windham, if it may be. That we have engaged Maj r 
Ledyard to procure twelve axes, which he informed he 
could do immediately. Have engaged Elijah Backcus 
Esq r to make one dozen of spades and one dozen of 
shovels for the woiks at New London. Have en paired 


Cap* Richard Deshon to procure four large scoughs to be 
employed in transporting the troops as ocation may 
require, two of which he has already engaged. Maj r 
Ledyard requests an order may be given to Maj r Hun- 
tington for a quantity of sheet copper in his custody 
belonging to the United States, to be used for ladles for 
the cannon. 

All which is humbly submitted, 

James Wadsworttt. 

Natu el Wales, Ju\ 

Lebanon, 7 th Aug 1 , 1779. DAVID MuMFORD. 

N. B. A whale boat should be provided for the use of 
the troops at New London. 

Aug* 10 th , 1779. The foregoing Report accepted & 

Test, James Wadswortii, Clerk. 

Indorsed : Report of Mess rs TTadsworth, Wales, and Mumford, de Fortifi- 
cations & Works at X. London, rec d 7 th ins 4 . 


[August 20, 1779.] 
To His Excellency the Governor with His Council of Safety. 

Being, on application from New Haven, directed by 
your Excellency & Council to repair to New Haven, & 
view & examine into the practicability of fortifying, so 
as to defend the s d town & harbour, &c. Beg leave to re- 
port that upon viewing the situation of s d town & harbour, 
it appears that a small work already made at Black Rock, 

* This report of Colonel Motte is not dated, but it was submitted at a meeting of the Gov- 
ernor and Council of Safety held Aug. 20, 1779. (See Public Records of Connecticut, May, 
1778-April, 1780, p. 388.) Samuel Motte was a deputy to the General Assembly of Con- 
necticut, from Preston, a justice of the Peace, and a member of the Council of Safety. In 
Ma}', 1775, he was appointed an Engineer, to act in said capacity at Ticonderoga and Crown 
P ; ;int, with the rank, of Lieutenant-Colonel. Subsequently he was a Lieutenant-Colonel 
and Colonel in the militia. See Connecticut Colonial Records, vol. xv., passim ; Public 
Records of Connecticut, Oct., 177G-April, 1780, passim ; Record of Connecticut Men in the 
Revolution, pp. 38, 389, 431.— Eds. 

17 79.] SAMUEL MOTTE. 423 

near the entrance of s d harbour, is well situated, and may 
be of great use in defending against any arm'd vessels 
which may attempt to enter the harbour, but sundry 
commanding grounds being contiguous, it appeal's that 
if an enemy should approach & make good a landing in 
any parts Without Black Rock, near the chops of s d har- 
bour, which would be attended with little or no difficulty, 
they might, by possessing themselves of the s d command- 
ing grounds or any one of them, prevent the defence that 
might be made from the work at Black Rock & easily 
take possession of it, & of course command the entrance 
of the harbour. 

That there is a little Northeastward of Black Rock a 
commanding ground call'd Beacon Hill which, if well forti- 
fied with a small but regular work, would with a garrison 
of three or 4 hundred men be capable of defending against 
an enemy, unless in case of a regular & severe siege, k 
the said w r ork so built on s d Beacon Hill would with 4 or 
5 pieces of heavy artillery, and some smaller pieces on 
the part next the country, to prevent a sudden assault, 
be able effectually to defend & command the channel of 
the harbour, & to cover & command the work at Black 
Rock and all the other rising ground from the operations 
of the enemy. That the said Beacon Hill does not lie 
quite so near the town as might be wish'd, or so as to 
annoy an enemy in case they were in possession of it, 
but a few small batterys & intrenchments already erected 
about the harbour, on the town side, operating with a 
work or fort on s d hill, w r ould be able to secure the town 
and harbour, unless it should be approach'd on the land 
side from some more distant part of the shore, in which 
case they will be under the necessity of retiring by the 
same route, beg leave also to report that about five or 6 
heavy cannon will be necessary with a number pf smaller 
sizes for the necessary works, which is humbly submitted 
by your Excellency's* most obedient serv fc . ^ L ,r 



His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Governor of the State of Con- 
necticut, Lebanon, Connecticut. 

Raritax, 23 d August, 1779. 

Sir, — I find myself honoured with your Excellency's 
favour of the 15 th ult mo , and am much obliged to you for 
any civilities shewn to my nephew M r William Alexander 
Livingston, & think you was perfectly right in refusing 
his request to go into New York. He was certainly a 
British subject at the time of his capture ; and if his 
name does not stand too much in his way, we may get 
a good American in exchange for him. Indeed I am 
sorry that a single individual of his name should chuse 
to be such a subject. But all families are liable to have 
degenerate members. Even Adam's had its Cain : that 
of Isaac its Esau ; and among the twelve Apostles there 
was at least one traitor. 

I heartily sympathize with your Excellency over the 
late cruel & wanton ravages of the enemy in your State. 
The destruction of so many populous and flourishing 
towns, without the least tendency to effect their original 
purpose of subduing this country, is so savagely vindic- 
tive that I hope it will inspire us with fresh resolutions 
never to submit to such unfeeling barbarians, even should 
we be reduced to the necessity of reversing the prophet's 
prediction, & beat our ploughshares into swords, & our 

* William Livingston was born in Albany, X. Y., Nov. 30, 1723, graduated at Yale 
College with high rank in 1741, and studied law. He soon became one of the leaders of 
the Xew York bar; but in May, 1772, he removed to New Jersey, where he afterward re- 
sided. He was a delegate from Xew Jersey to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. 
In the latter year he was elected Governor. He held that oihce until his death, at F.lizabeth- 
town, July 25, 1790. See Dexfer's Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Yale College, vol. i. 
pp. GS2-G8G ; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. iii. pp. 742, 743. — Eds. 

1779.] IIENKY VAN DYCK. 425 

pruning hooks into spears. I trust, however, that this 
campaign will fill the measure of their iniquity ; & that 
by next spring, at farthest, we shall be able to con- 
gratulate each other on the firm establishment of our 

With great esteem & regard, I am, 

Your Excellency's most humble serv 1 , 

Wil: Livingston. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 23 d Aug 4 , 1779. Gov r Livingston, de his Nephew, rec J at 


Stratford, August 24 th , 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — The bearer 
hereof, M r Hezekiah Wetmore of Stratford, will wait on 
your Excellency with a request hi my favour (as a poor 
candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church) for 
permission for myself & family consisting of a wife and 
four small children to go with a flag upon Long Island, 
together with our houshoid furniture, beds & bedding 
sufficient for the family, upon the same terms as the 
Rev d M r Graves of New London, with his family, hath 
obtained leave, with licence to proceed (the Lord will- 
ing) to Great Britain for the above purpose of Divine 

I beg leave to inform your Excellency that I am so re- 
duced, by the large demand of taxes & other great losses, 
that I am unable to support my family here with any 
tolerable decency; & by not being in Orders I am inca- 
pable of obtaining that support for them which I other- 
ways might. What rdds still to my afflictions 1 have been 
laid under very heavy bonds by which I am limited to 


the town of Stratford, prevented from performing divine 
services at Newtown, from whence I received my greatest 
support, deprived of the liberty of corresponding with an 
aged infirm mother, a widow to whom I am an only child, 
who is within the British lines, & also otherways restrained 
in such a manner as to render life a burthen & a continu- 
ance in this situation almost insupportable. A copy of this 
bond M r Wetmore will shew your Excellency, & should 
you think proper to make any enquiries respecting this 
as well as any other matter this gentleman will be able 
to give the most ample satisfaction, as he acted officially 
in the Court of Enquiry & also as he is an inhabitant of 
this town. 

It is well known that my profession as a Christian for- 
bids me to take up arms (in my own opinion), as I have 
always openly & freely declared it. I can therefore be 
of no service here, nor any way injurious to the American 
cause upon the other side. For I trust thro divine grace 
there are no temptations sufficient to make me fall off 
from what I conceive a duty as a believer in Christ, to 
whose most sacred rules I hold myself accountable and 
before whom I shall eventually stand or fall. 

But should your Excellency not think proper to grant 
my request upon the same ground that M r Graves ob- 
tained his, I most earnestly supplicate relief in some other 
way. That I may have free liberty as a peaceable citizen 
to the full enjoyment of all those rights which as the 
Lord's free man I humbly conceive I ought to partake 
of; but should I be so unhappy as to be excluded from 
either, I must beg your Excellency will be so very kind 
as to permit me, with my helpless family, to go to some 
other part of the w r orld, where we may be able to live, 
for in our present situation we must soon be reduced to 
the lowest degree of poverty. In full confidence, there- 
fore, relying upon your Excellency's well known human- 
ity & charity, I must Lope for success, and that injured 


innocence will not apply in vain.*' I am, with the great- 
est respect & highest esteem, 
May it please your Excellency, 

Your Excellency's most obed. & very hble. serv\ 

Henry Van Dyck. 

His Excellency Gov 1- Trumbull. 

Indorsed : August 24, 1779. The Rev d M r H. Van Dyck, de permission 
to go to L. Island, with his family. 


Neilson's Point, 25 Aug., 1779. 

Dear Sir, — The commanding officers of the reg ts in 
my brigade begin to be alarm' d for the want of shoes. 
They have received near or quite their two pairs p man 
for the current year, and about half their men are bare- 
foot. The clothier has orders to deliver no more than the 
stipulated quantity ; cannot the State find means to have 
the men furnished ? if they are not soon supplied they 
w r ili be unfit for duty and their health exposed. Two 
pairs of shoes of the best kind will not carry a man 
through the ordinary services of a campaign, much less 
if they are poor, as has generally been the case. 

General Sullivan has advanced about ninety miles 
w r est of Wioming, burnt Shamong one of the chief towns 
of the Senecas. 

The junction of the French & Spanish fleets is generally 
believed ; some say they are in the Channel of England. 

Capt D wight Lyman was at Powle's Hook when Major 
Lee took the place. It seems he has sold out of the British 
army for 2,000 guineas, & tis said show'd himself to Major 
Lee in giving n | m information of some British officers 
being in the vicinity ; but the Major dared not stay to 
improve it — least he should be interupted in his return. 

* At a meeting of the Governor ami Council, Aug. 27, 1779, permission was "granted 
to Mr. Henry Vandyke, his wife and children, to go over to Long Island with their effects." 
Sec I'ublic Records of Connecticut, May, 1778-April, 1780, p. 3'JO. — Eds. 


There is in my opinion great want of oeconomy in our 
military system. The number of officers is out of pro- 
portion to the men ; there is at least one third more than 
is necessary ; the staff are in proportion to the number of 
corps, & they are the most expensive part of our officers, 
as they are all mounted on horses. If our regiments 
were incorporated & reduced to half their present num- 
ber, the saving would be prodigious; the supernumerary 
officers upon having security for past dues would be will- 
ing to leave the army where they are sensible they are 
not wanted. Sheldon's regiment of horse ought to be 
filled up or reduced to two or three companies and a 
major's command ; at present its condition is a burlesque 
on military arrangements, & there are others more so 
than Sheldon's. I am, with the utmost respect & esteem, 
your Excellency's affectionate & obed fc serv t . 

J. Huntington. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 


Lebanon, 27 th AugS 1779. 

Sir, — There are man}^ complaints against the armed 
whale boats for plundering or carrying on illicit trade. 
You will make diligent enquiry after any that may be 
charged with it, and call such cohlander of boat before 
you with the evidences for such complaint or suspicion, 
and upon finding just grounds therefor, you will send 
such coiiiander before the Gov r with his Council of 
Safetv, with the evidences or documents necessarv, that 
he may be dealt with as to justice it may appurtain. 

I understand the people of New London are destitute 
of a minister. Religion and virtue is of the utmost im- 
portance for the comunity and for the soldiery. You 
will therefore take caje and provide some sutable person 

1779.] WILLIAM VERXOX. 429 

or persons to officiate with you as chaplain. You will 
give me intelligence of your proceedings in this regard. 
I am, with great truth & regard, Sir, 

Your obedient, hble. servant. 
B. General Tyler. JON™ TRUMBULL. 


Head Quarters, New London, 28 th Aug*, 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — Your Excel- 
lency's favours of the 25 th & 27 th inst. have received & 
shall pay all due attention to their contents; have 
directed Lieut. Shipman, commanding at Say Brook to 
keep a good look out for the whale boats in that quar- 
ter, & have sent the orders to the gentlemen that are 
directed to procure horses for the artillery. Captain 
Tyler has eight horses for his waggon & field pieces, 
some of which are very indifferent; they are at present 
kep on M r Shaw's Neck. Inclosed is coppy of a letter 
from Commissary Fanning respecting flour ; am fearful 
we shall soon be out of that article in this department. 

The bearer of this, Corp 1 Edgerton, is to go on to Hart- 
ford with Capt n Stanton Hazard, with Major Ledyard's 
letter to Ezekiel Williams, Esq r . I have orderd rice 
deliv d out two clays in a week in lieu of bread to the 
whole of the troops ; have the honor to be 

Your Excellency's most ob* serv*. 

Jonx Tyler, B. Gen 11 . 

Navy Board, Eastern Departmext, Boston, August 30, 1779. 

Sir, — We was honored last evening (by your messen- 
ger Brown) with your favor of the 27 th instant, inclosing 

* William Vernon was born in Newport, R. I., Jan. IT, 1710, became one of the widest 
known and most successful meretii tits in that tow^ and died there Dec. 22, 18UG. When 


a packet from William Bingham, Esq r , at Martinique, for 
the Navy Board at Boston or Philadelphia, which was 
principally requesting to forward a packet under cover, 
to the Committee for Foreign Affairs at Philadelphia; 
therefore it had been best to have sent your messenger 
directly on with the letter to Philadelphia. 

We herewith return it, wishing it may go forward by 
first conveyance. Inclose you M r Bingham's letter to 
the Navy Board oj?cn, that you may have oppertunity of 
seeing what foreign intelligence he hath received ; after 
you have perused pleased to close & send on. 

We much regret that it will not be in your power to 
replace the pigg iron ballast, borrowed from the Trum- 
bull, as Cap* Deshon left us last week, with a view of 
getting that ship to sea immediately ; hope some means 
may be fallen upon to obtain it. M r Dean has not charged 
the guns in his accounts. Lodged the bill with us, which 
we shall discharge, if they are received ; that will be 
determined by Cap* Deshon. 

There is a total loss of all the shiping & stores at 
Penobscot (the Pallas only escaped). Upon appearance 
of the enemy, our shipping run up Penobscot river where 
they were set on fire by the several commanders. The 
officers are hourly arriving from thence. We chuse to 
suspend our judgment upon the failure of this important 
expedition until] a public enquiry takes place.* We 
have no very material news in town. Cap 1 Whipple 
with his small squadron captured ten sail of the 
Jamaica fleet, eight of wdiich are safe arrived, two 

the British troops occupied Newport, he wa9 obliged to leave the place, and came to Boston. 
In May, 1777, he was elected by Congress, with James Warren and John Deshon, a member 
of the navy board at Boston, and was made president of the board. On the clo«e of the 
war he returned to Newport, and resumed his commercial activities. See N. E. Hist, and 
Gen. Register, vol. xxxiii. pp. 317, 318. — Eds. 

* For some remarks on the Penobscot Expedition, see 2 Proceedings, vol xii. pp. 200- 
202. — Eds. 


We felicitate you with this event & the good news 
from the West Indies of the success of our allies, and are, 
with perfect esteem, 

Your most obed^ hum bl serv* 8 . 

W M Vernon for the Board. 

His Excellency Jox A Trumbull, Esq r . 


Saybrook, August 30 th , 1779. 

May it please your Excellency, — I think it my 
duty to inform (as I have certain inteligence) that the 
British fleet has arriv d in New York, under the command 
of Admiral Arbuthnot, consisting of about eighty sail in 
the whole. They arriv d last Wednesday ; tis said they 
have 7,000 troops with them, but by the best accounts 
they have little more than 3,000. That number they 
surely have, Major Drummoncl, first aid to Gen 11 Clinton, 
came in the fleet with dispaches for him, who still holds 
the command. There are a number of merchant men 
with the fleet, tis said, with large quantities of goods, and 
the talk is that the troops are going to the southward or 
to the West Indias. The enemy are building a very 
large fort on the Island near Broolyn ferry; they are 
very strict about leting any pass into the citty. This 
account M r Seaman procur d by a friend of his who ob- 
tain d a permitt from Gen 1 Delancy, and was in York 
when the fleet arriv d . The inteligence is genuine and 
may be rehf on without any doubt, and the person who 
obtaind it a thorough friend. M r Seaman when on the 
Island presum d upon it from talk I had with him before, 
of which I mention d in a letter to your Excellency. I 
trust he and I shall be justified, as tis from pure inten- 
tions. M r Seaman wishes his name conceal* 1 least his 
friends should be hurt. 


I am, with the greatest esteem and veneration, your 
Excellencies most obedient, humble serv fc . 

AY M Worth in gton. 

Indorsed: Col W m Worthington's, Aug 1 30, 1770, giv g information of y e 
mov g the Enemy & arrival of Adm 1 Arbuthnot at N. York. 


Head Quarters, New York, the 7 th Sep., 1779. 

Sir, — I have information on oath that William Peck, 
Darlen Welpley and Solomon Farris, formerly inhabi- 
tants of Connecticut,' but since the y r 1776 within the 
protection of the King's Army, were confined in irons, 
tried at Fairfield and condemned to suffer death. 

Shou'd you, in this or other similar instances, continue 
to exercise these rigours, much more shou'd any loyalist 
be put to death for warrantable hostilities against the 
people in arms to oppose the King's Government, I shall 
be compelled to make the severest retaliations, and they 
will light upon such persons as I shall judge in nearest 
connection with the men who may have been instru- 
mental in such vindictive oppressions. 

You will see this resolution operate very speedily, on 
the first cause you shall give for its taking effect. 

I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble ser\ rt . 

H. Clinton. 

Gov Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Sept. 7 th , 1779. His Excellency Sir Henry Clinton, de sundry 
persons, inhabitants of this State, — since the year 1776 within their pro- 
tection ; now said to be under sentence of death by trial at Fairfield; threat- 
ens retaliation if these rigours are practised. 

* Sir Henry Clinton, the only son of Admiral George Clinton, Governor of New- 
foundland from 1732 to 1741, and of New York from 1741 to 1751, was born about 17-38. 
In 1751 he was gazetted as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards. In May, 1772, he was 
made a Major-General, and three years later he came over to Boston with Generals Howe 
and Burgoyne. From May. 1778, to May, 1781, he was commander-in-chief of the British 
forces in North America. He was a member of the House of Commons at three different 
periods, and died, Governor of Gibraltar, Dec. 23, 1795. See Dictionary of National 
Biography, vol. xi. pp. 94, 95. - Eds. 

1779.] JEDIDIAEL MORSE. 433 


State of Connecticut. Lebanon, 13 th Sept r , 1779. 

Sir, — Your letter of the 7 th ins* is received. The 
case you mention of three men tried at Fairfield, and 
condemned to suffer death, is not yet officially laid be- 
fore me.t 

Attention will be given, and care taken that nothing 
is done relative to them, but what appertains to law and 

I am, Sir, your most obedient, and most hble. servant. 

His Excellency Sir H. Clinton. JoN th TRUMBULL. 

His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, Esq., Lebanon. 

Woodstock, Sept r y e 8 th , 1779. 

Respected & Hon ed Sir, — I rece d a few lines from 
your Excellency yesterday by M r Wood of Lebanon, to 
Co 11 M c Clellan & Cap* Paine, desireing them to consult 
and reconsider the affairs with regard to my son, which 
I delivered to them this day ; have freely deliberated 
upon the affair, am warranted from both those gentlemen 
to inform your Excellency that they are sorry your Ex- 

* Governor Trumbull's answer to Sir Henry Clinton's letter was copied by his own 
hand on the blank page of Clinton's letter. — Eds. 

t Darling Whelpley, Solomon Ferriss, William Peck, and David Washbom were sen- 
tenced to be executed on the 10th of November, 1779, " for the crime of high treason.'' At 
the session of the General Assembly of Connecticut in October, it was resolved that the 
execution of the sentence be "suspended until the first Wednesday of March next." At 
the session in Jan., 1780, it was resolved that these men and others should be exchanged for 
Brigadier-General Silliman and other prisoners in the hands of the British, "in such way 
and manner as his Excellency the Governor and Council of Safety shall order and ap- 
point." At the meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety, Feb. 12, 17S0, the resolves 
necessary for carrying out the exchange, as proposed by Sir H. Clinton, were passed. See 
Public Records of Connecticut, May, 1778-April, 1780, pp. 414, 468, 503, 504. — Eds. 

\ Father of Rev.Jedidiah Morse, D.D., long the minister of the First Church in Charies- 
town, Mass., but best known as a g°ographer. The father was a farmer, a deacon in the 
church, and represented the town of Woodstock in the Connecticut Assembly for thirty 
successive sessions. See Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. ii. p. 247. — Eds. 


434 THE TRUMBULL PArERS. [17 79. 

cellency did not give my son a full discharge from y e 
draft. They wish it was done as they look upon it al- 
together reasonable it should be done ; and the Co 11 
would do it with all freedom, were times now as they 
were but one year ago, but to use his own words, drafts 
now a days are so frequent and excuses & applications 
likewise as frequent, that I really wish it was not in my 
power to excuse any, and if I should discharge your son, 
as he lives in the town, and many dont know nor con- 
sider the weight of the reasons for your son's being ex- 
cused, it would be very disagreeable to me to hear all 
that would be said, & perhaps not so well for you as if 
your son was discharg d by his Excellency, who is the head ; 
therefore should advise you to apply to the Governor 
once more and, as he is as well acquainted with the cir- 
cumstances of the affair, by your account, as I am ; and 
will acquaint his Excellency how it is with me, and get 
a discharge there and no one will have a right to com- 
plain. These are the words & sentiments of the Co 11 , as 
near as I can recollect ; or at least to the same import. 
I urged him to write, but he declined, least he might 
give occasion to any to say he had any hand in the affair. 
Capt Paine also advise it was best for the Co 11 not to write 
for the same reason. Thus, Honour 3 S r , I have given 
you the sentiments of those two gentlemen, whom I 
esteem to be as true, upright & faithful in their respec- 
tive stations, in the discharge of their trusts, as any in 
the compass of my knowledge, without exception; and 
now would submit the matter to your Excellencies wise 
& final determination, and hope it may prevent any further 
trouble to your Excellency or myself about the matter. 
With grateful acknowledgments of past favours, 
am, with all due regards, your Excellency's 

most obed* & humble serv 1 . 

Jedidiah Morse. 

His Excellency Jonath* Trumbull, Esq. 

Indorsed : Sept. 8, 1779. Jed. Morse, de affair of his son detached. 

1779.] G. SELLECK SILLIMAN. 435 

(Coppy) Flatt Bush, Sep' 20 th , 1770. 

Sir, — As I have the misfortune to be a prisoner to the 
British troops, and being a stranger to you, suppose it is 
necessary for me to acquaint you with my situation, and 
the circumstances of my capture & military connections. 

In the year 1776 I commanded a regiment that was 
raised in Connecticutt for the Continental service through 
the campaign. At the close of the campaign (my regi- 
ment being raised only for that year) I returned to my 
family in Connecticutt, and found that I was appointed 
to command the 4 th Brigade of the militia of that State, 
extending from Stratford westerly to the Saw-Pitts (about 
40 miles of sea-coast), & from thence up to the head of 
King Street & up by Pound-Ridge, Ridgefield, Danbury, 
k New-Fairfield. A situation much exposed & extreamly 
harrassed by the British troops through the warr to this 
time. In March, 1777, the enemy formed an expedition 
against Fairfield (where I lived) consisting of two ships 
of warr & 4 tenders, with about 500 troops on board. 
And about the same time they made descents on various 
other parts of the sea-coast under my command, which 
obliged me to call into service for our defence a large 
proportion of my brigade, which I commanded myself 
through the year 1777. I early received orders from 
Gov r Trumbull to march & reinforce the Continental 
troops at Peekskill, &c, on the North River at any time 
when called for by the commanding officer. In ApriF 

* John Beatty was born in Bucks County, Penn., Dec. 19, 1749, graduated at Prince- 
ton College in 1769, studied medicine with Dr. Benjamin Push, and shortly after the 
breaking- out of the War of the Pevolution entered the American army. In May. 177S. h-> 
was appointed Commissary General of Prisoners, with the rank of Colonel. In March, 
1780, he resigned, and settled as a physician in Princeton, N. J. From 1733 to 1735 he was 
a member of Congress, and from 1705 until 1805 he was Secretary of State of New 
Jersey. lie died in Trenton. N. J.. April 30, 1826. (See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of Ameri- 
can Biography, vol. i. p. 20S). The copy from which this letter is printed is in the band- 
writing of General Silliman. — Eds. 


about 2.000 British troops landed in the westerly part of 
the township of Fairfield at a place called Compo, com- 
manded by Gov r Tryon, and made a forced march to 
Danbury & destroyed the publick stores, &c. On this 
occasion the whole brigade were called into service, but 
before the whole could reach the place of rendezvous the 
battle at Ridgefield happened on the 27 th April, between 
the British & a part of the brigade, in which General 
Wooster received a mortal wound. A very considerable 
pait of the campaign I kept General Putnam reinforced 
With a large detachment from my brigade. In the be- 
gining of October I marched my whole brigade, and 
joined General Putnam at Fishkill, and was in service 
there about a month ; about the 25 th November, pur- 
suant to his orders, I marched again & joined him at 
East Chester in order to make an attack on the British 
lines at Kin^s-Brid^e, but the design was not carried 
into execution, and I was discharged in December & 
returned home. In the month of January, 1778, I or- 
dered the whole line of guards on the sea-coast k at 
Byram-Bridge to be releived by a new detachment from 
the brigade, and have constantly kept up that line of 
guards untill I was surprised at my own house in the 
night of the first of May last, and made a prisoner ; 
sometimes indeed we have been assisted with guards 
from the army at two or three of the posts in this line, at 
times when they could be spared, which was not often, 
and sometimes when they were withdrawn, by troops 
raised in y e State. But after I had" ordered the guards 
to be releived, in January, 1778, I did not consider my- 
self so in service as to charge any wages to the State for 
it, unless when I was obliged to spend a w r hole day at 
once about these matters. But dure inn; all that time till 
I was captivated, the guards constantly received their 
orders from me, and made their weekly returns to me; 
and it was very rare if any day past without an applica- 

1779.] G. SELLECK SILLIMAN. 437 

tion to me from some officer or other that commanded at 
one or other of the different posts (near twenty in the 
whole) for orders for barracks, tents, provisions, ammuni- 
tion, &c. This would appear clearly from my letter & 
orderly book. At the time that I was taken (and for two 
years before) *I kept a laboratory under the care of a 
conductor, and then had people employed under him in 
makeing up cartriges, &c, &c. And from thence were 
issued supplies under my orders only for the guards from 
time to time; and for such other of the militia as were at 
times called out on duty. I constantly held the brigade 
prepared to march to repell the enemy wherever they 
should make a descent; or to join the army whenever I 
should be called on. About three months before I was 
taken, pursuant to a requisition from General Putnam, I 
caused a strict review of our arms, ammunition, &c., and 
put the brigade in readiness with four days provision, 
&c, to march at an hour's warning ; and on his requisi- 
tion marched to join him in the latter end of February 
last, when the British under the command of General 
Tryon made an irruption into Horse Neck in Connecticutt. 

I lived within about one mile & an half of the sea- 
shore on a strait line, — as the roads went it was about 
two miles. In front of my house was a battery at the 
water-side, garrisoned by a Leiu* & twenty three men. 
The party that took me came into a small bay about 
midnight & about one mile to y e eastward of the battery, 
& so surprised me k my son, William Silliman, who was 
my Brigade Major, & acted as such throughout the whole 
time, & brought us off prisoners. He holds no commis- 
sion in the line of the militia, nor any office except that 
of Brigade Major. 

At the time that we were taken the battery before men- 
tioned by my orders was under a thorough repair, under 
the immediate direction of my Brigade Major, who had 
procured timber & plank to make the plattforms entirely 


new ; and intrenching tools to repair & rebuild the works 

Thus, Sir, I have given you an exact account of the 
situation of myself & son at & before the time we were 
taken. As to myself I charged the State nothing for all 
these services since January, 1778, except«as before men- 
tioned. And yet the true state of the case is, that the 
line of guards were an advanced picket for that part of 
the State, and I was about a mile and an half in their 
reer. I was not allowed to leave this post, unless for a 
few days at a time, one time only excepted, tho I had 
several times solicited leave of absence to go abroad on 
my own business for five or six weeks at a time, but was 
denied by the Governour. 

I have been thus particular in order to lay a founda- 
tion for you to judge whether our situation was not such 
at the time of our capture as to entitle me & my son to 
every privilege of exchange, &c, that any officer in 
actual service in every sense of the word is entitled to. 
It appears to me that we are, and trust that you will be 
of the same opinion & therefore hope y fc you will be kind 
enough to procure our exchange to be made in our 
proper turn. But if the matter of an exchange should be 
settled by Commissioners, I beg that you will be so kind 
as to lay our case properly before them. I have a wife 
& family at Fairfield in Connecticutt to whom I want to 
write sometimes, and wish to ask the favour of you to 
receive my letters under cover directed to you in order 
to be forwarded, if you could do it without too much 
trouble to yourself. A line in answer to let me know 
whether you can oblige me will be esteemed a particular 

By, sir, your most obedient, humble servant. 

G. Selleck Silliman. 

Col Jn° Beaty, Corny Gen 1 Prisoners. 



A PniLADELPniE, le 24 7 br0 , 1779. 

Monsieur, — Je suis arrive il y a deux jours dans cette 
ville, et je proffite du premier moment de repos dont 
j'ai pu jouir pour temoigner a votre Exellence, combien 
je suis recconnoissant de l'accueil que j'ai re§u d'elle a 
Hartfort, et de celui qu'elle m'a procure dans le reste du 
Connecticut. J'ai eu de frequentes occasions de regret- 
ter la precipitation avec laquelle j'ai ete oblige de voy- 
ager. Cet etat merite d'etre vu dans le plus grand detail ; 
et je desire bien que les circonstances me permettent d y 
retourner. et d'y voyager plus lentement. L'espoir de 
vous y retrouver, Monsieur, et d'y proffiter de vos lnmi- 
eres sera un des principaux motifs qui m'y conduirout. 
On ne peut connoitre trop particulierement un citoyen 
qui a si bien merite de sa patrie. En attendant, Mon- 
sieur, permettez moi d'entretenir, quand les circonstances 
s'en presenteront, une correspondance ou il y aura tout 
a gagner pour moi. 

J'ai lu avec un grand interet le plan d'histoire de 
1'Amerique que vous avez bien voulu me communiquer. 
Ceux qui aiment la saine politique, et ceux qui aiment les 
lettres doivent egalement faire des voeux pour son execu- 
tion, et en mon particulier je desire bien vivement que 
votre Exellence veuille s'en occuper. 

J'ai lu aussi, Monsieur, les questions relatives a l'etat 
de la Colonie du Connecticut en 1773. Les reponses 
sont un modele de precision et de clarte. J'imagine 
qu'on a fait le meme travail sur les differents Etats de 
1'Amerique et il seroit peut etre a desirer qu'on en 
donnat connoissance au public. 

* Anne-Cesar de la Luzerne, minister from France to the United States from 1TT9 to 
1783, was born in 1741, at Paris, and died in London, where he was residing as ambassador 
from France, Sept. 14, 1791. [See Nouvelle Biographie Generate, tome 20, p. JJ3.) — Eds, 


J'ai l'honneur d'etre, avec la consideration la plus dis- 
tingue e, 


de votre Excellence, le tres humble 

et tres obeissant serviteur, 

Le che. de la Luzerne. 


Sir, — Having this day returned from my captivity in 
New York, I take the earliest opertunity to acquaint you 
that a large embarkation is now taking place from thence 
& supposed to be for the State of Virginia, I have dur- 
ing my stay in York discovered that several of the Vir- 
ginia reffugees are making preparations to go with this 
embarkation, not only with stores, but some with their 
families. The great preparations that were making for 
several days before I left the city indicated that the 
number of troops to be sent is considerable. Report says 
8,000. Several ships were ordered to be in readiness 
to receive horses on board ; & other concurring circum- 
stances makes me believe that the opinion of the troops 
being intended for the West Indies is ill founded. Hear- 
ing that some of the dela^ates of Virginia intend home 
to-morrow, I have taken the liberty to mention this mat- 
ter to you that if it deserves their attention you may 
acquaint them of it. 

E. Fox. 

Sept' 24 th , 1779. 

To Hon bl James Forbs Esq'. 

Indorsed : 24 th Sept., 1779. E. Fox's intelligence from X. York, de era- 
barka" 8,i»00 — for Virginia, inclosed in Delagates' letter 25 th & 2G th Sept. 

* James Forbes was one of the delegates from Maryland to the Continental Congress. 
— Eds. 




Philadelphia, Sept r 25 th , 1779. 

Please your Excellency, — Inclosed is an extract of 
a letter from M r Fox, which is confirmed by similar ac- 
counts contained in a letter from Gen. 1 Washington. 
Capt Q Niles's papers & accoumpts have been laid before 
Congress & are referred to the Board of Treasury, who 
have not yet reported thereon. Proper attention will be 
paid to your Excellency's wishes respecting your son, & 
nothing will be wanting on our part to further them in 
case an appointment of the kind should be judged neces- 
sary. The new Minister of France, the Chaveleer de la 
Luzern, arrived here last Thursday, but has not yet been 
formally anounced to Congress. M r Gerard will sail 
soon in the Confederacy for France. Our foreign affairs 
are bro* nearly to a close. 

The great business of finance grows daily more & more 
pressing k important. Some resolutions ascertaining the 
sum that will be necessary to supply the Treasury, assign- 
ing to the States their respective quotas, and fixing the 
time of payment, are under consideration & will soon be 
passed upon and transmitted to the States. There is not 
hard money in the Treasury, otherways your application 
would have been complied with. 

No Journals have come out since our last. We send 
herewith a Code of the Jersey laws presented to us by 
that State through their delegates for the purpose of 
opening a communication of laws with the different 
States, also a pamphlet on finance wrote by M r Webster.* 

Sepf 26-^ : Last evening an express arrived here from 
Charlestown, South Carolina, with despatches containing 

* Pelatiah Webster published " An Es £ ay on Free Trade and Finance," dedicated to 
Congress, in July, 1779, and a second essay on the same subject, dedicated to the State 
Legislatures, in Aug., 1779. — Eds. 


the most agreable advices of the arrival of the Count De 
Estange off the Savannah the 5 th inst, with his fleet and a 
considerable land force, that he immediately sent an offi- 
cer to the Governor of South Carolina & to General Lin- 
coln to consult & settle the mode of attacking the enemy, 
which being concluded on was sent back to the Count ; 
and the attack on Savannah was to be made on the th . 
This affords the most flattering prospects respecting 
Georgia & our affairs in that country. The assistance of 
the Count with his fleet will be of most essential service 
to us this campaign, provided he shall be at liberty to 
cooperate with us through the season, which we have 
reason to hope. 

The large embarkation of 8,000 troops making at New 
York for the southward will probably be stoped. 

Cap* Taylor, a privateer from this port, has taken a 
transport ship with 350 Hessians on board, supposed to 
be a part of the detachment which saild some time past 
from New York & were returning on account of bad 

A woman was taken up at Reading in this State going 
from the Convention troops in Virginia to New York, had 
with her plans & charts of James river & the adjacent 

We have the honor to be, with the highest esteem & 
respect, your Excellency's most obed fc & most humble 

Sam ll Huntington. 
Jesse Eoot. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 25 th & 2G th Sept., 1779. Hon ble Connect. Delegates, Hunting- 
ton & Root, de Coun' D'Estaing. Intelligence, &c, rec d p Brown, 3 d Oct° 



(Public service) His Excellency Governour Trumbull, Lebanon, 
Connecticut. War Office. 

War-Office, Oct r 5, 1779. 

Sir, — We have been honoured with your letter of the 
24th ult°, informing of jour receipt of 150 old gun bar- 
rels, 100 old gun locks & pieces, the first at 2/, the latter 
at 1/6. We are well pleased with the measure, and readily 
consent that you should receive from M r Cheever any 
number more, not exceeding one thousand old muskets 
or gun barrels, including those already received. It may 
be proper to fix the terms on which they are to be re- 
ceived. The prices above mentioned are very inade- 
quate: new muskets have lately cost us upwards of a 
hundred dollars ; and the smiths here ask from sixteen 
to twenty pounds lawful money for a new musket barrel. 
We do not know upon what footing you would wish to 
receive the old muskets to repair: when favoured with 
your Excellency's sentiments on the subject, we can be 
more determinate in our answer. As we have plenty of 
such old materials, we should prefer selling what your 
State want upon a just appraisement. Two or three 
years since a considerable number of new French arms 
were delivered (we believe at your Excellency's request) 
for the use of your State. We shall be obliged to your 
Excellency for information respecting the disposition of 

We have the honour to be, 

Your Excellency's very obedient servants. 
By order of the Board. 

Tim : Pickering. 

His Excellency Governour Trumbull. 

Indorsed : Hon b ' e Tim Pickering, War Office, de old guns & gun bb s 
& locks, rec d 18 th ins', vespere. 



Philadelphia, 19 th Octob., 1779. 

Dear Sir, — Since the date of my last of the 2G th 
Septem. I have not been honoured with any of your 
Excellency's favors. After repeated tenders to Congress 
of the letters which your Excellency desired should be 
presented to the House, I obtained about a week ago a 
commitment of them without reading. Yesterday I put 
them into the hands of M r President Huntington, when 
they were read & again committed, therefore they are 
now out of my reach, otherwise they should have accom- 
panied this; the translation of the Dutch book goes on 
slowly, M r Mecklenburg, who was so obliging as to under- 
take to get that work performed, says the translator is 
nevertheless not idle. 

I should have explained on the first above mentioned 
commitment by saying the Committee had made a favor- 
able report on the letters & then returned them into my 
hands. I was desirous because you seem to have been 
so, & because the letters deserved attention, to have 
them read in full Congress. This was done yesterday 
& thence came the second commitment. 

When I said to your Excellency in my last " tvere he 
ray son 1 should dissuade him/ 1 I had no idea that my 
son would indeed be made, without his knowledge, a 
candidate for the very place your son wished for. My 
declaration was very sincere & my subsequent conduct 
consistent therewith. I do not believe Col Laurens will 
accept the appointment which Congress have elected 
him to.* I have written to him desiring he will not de- 
termine until he shall have given me an opportunity of 

* Congress voted, Oct. 14, 1779, "That the first blank in the commission for the 
secretary to the minister at the court of Versailles be tilled with 'John Laurens, enquire, 
member of the h >use of representatives for the state of South Carolina, and lieutenant 
colonel in the army of the United States.' " See Secret Journals of Congress, vol. ii. 
p. 277. — Eds. 

1779.] IIEXRY LAUREXS. 445 

conferring with him & communicating a faithful & accu- 
rate state of our affairs, foreign & domestic. If it shall 
please God to favor me with such an interview, & that 
my son can read my heart, he will return thanks to Con- 
gress & decline accepting the intended honor. At the 
same time, I must confess that, as far as I know him, he 
does not want qualifications for filling the office of Secre- 
tary to a foreign embassy with credit; but a man tender 
of his reputation will well consider the times before he 
accepts of a place. 

Your Excellency's packet addressed to the Baron Van 
der Capellen is committed to the protection of Mons r 
Gerard, with a particular request to convey it in such 
manner as to avoid a heavy expence of postage. . M. 
Gerard is now on board the Confederacy at Chester, & 
will sail with the first fair wind, probably this day. 

If the intelligence which we have received through 
various channelsof the Count d'Estaing's success at South 
Carolina & Georgia shall prove true, those States will 
enjoy a temporary tranquility & the enemy will feel the 
w T eight of a heavy loss & severe mortification ; according 
to those accounts, we have ground for expecting to hear 
of the Admiral's arrival at Sandyhook or Rhode Island 
to day or to morrow. All this looks very fair, but alas ! 
alas! we are threatned with an empty Treasury before 
the 1 st day of December. Yigoros & virtuos exertions of 
the citizens of these States, immediately put into action, 
must so far heal the wound given by rash, bad policy as 
to save us from a violent convulsion. Your Excellency 
has before this day seen the plan of ways & means; the 
medicine is rather rude, but if it be taken in time & in 
chearful spirits it may produce much relief, but cannot 
perform a radical cure ; how is that possible when the 
expenditures continue to increase beyond the stretch of 
the amazing expected returns of 15 Mil. per month. It 
will however afford us a little time for breathing & recol- 


lection, & will stimulate the States to look a little more 
narrowly into things which concern their temporal 

I am, with the utmost esteem & regard, 
Sir, your Excellency's 

obedient & most humble servant. 

Henry Laurens. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: Hon ble Henry Laurens, Esq r , de Baron Van Der Capellen's 
letters. My answer. Com tte recomitted — his son & mine — Carolina & 
Georgia intelligence — Expenditures will exhaust the Treas* by 1 st Decern 1 ", 
rec d 31 st ins 1 vespere. 


Boston, Octo r 19, 1779. 

Sir, — By my last advices from Philadelphia, I find 
that I am in immediate want of a quantity of beef and 
pork, for the use of his Most Christian Majesties fleet, and 
as Daniel Bell, Esq., who is regularly appointed the agent 
to procure a supply for the above mentioned purpose, 
intends to send suitable persons into the State of Con- 
necticut to purchase those articles, I am to request that 
full credit may be given to his certificates and attesta- 
tions, and that the bearers thereof may not in any way 
be impeded in their business, either in purchasing those 
articles, or in their conveying them to Boston, but that 
all necessary aid and assistance may be afforded them, 
that a sufficient supply may soon be obtained, as the in- 
terest of these States, as well as that of his most Chris- 
tian Majesty may be greatly affected thereby. 

I have the honor to be, with great regard, Sir, 
Your most humb e serv*. 

De Valnais, 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. Consul of France. 

Indorsed: 19 Oct., 1779. Moils' De Valnais, Consul of Frauce at Boston, 
de Beef & Pork, rec a 23 d ins 1 vespere, p M r Shubael ilewes. 

9.] JOSEPH NOUliSE. 447 


Treasury Office, Philadelphia, October 22, 1779. 

Sir, — By a Resolution of Congress of the 14 of Jan- 
uary last, it being provided that a sufficient number of 
proof sheets of the new bills then ordered to be emitted 
should be struck and sent with the signatures of each 
signer to the Assemblies of the respective States, to be 
lodged by them under proper regulations in public offices 
in the several Counties, Towns and Districts, for the ben- 
efit of the inhabitants of the United States ; the Board of 
Treasury have so far carried this Resolution in effect as 
to have caused a sufficient .number of proof sheets of the 
said bills, and also of the emission of September 26, 1778, 
to be lodged with the Treasurer in order to be sent to the 
several States. Part of the said sheets are transmitted to 
the States without the signatures and the same measures 
will be adopted with the residue as it is found by experi- 
ence that each signer so often varies his writing that the 
signature of one day differs materially from that of the 
next, and would afford very little assistance in detecting 
counterfeits; but the advantages of having the proof 
sheets dispersed in every part of the United States being 
such that each inhabitant thereof, who may suspect a coun- 
terfeit bill, may with little trouble, to himself be thus 
enabled to compare it with the standard and detect the 
person passing the same. The Board request your Excel- 
lency to communicate their desire to the Assembly of your 

* Joseph Nourse was born in London, England, July 16, 1754, and died near George- 
town, D. C, Sept. 1, 18U. lie entered the American army as military secretary to Gen- 
eral Lee in 1770, and was afterward clerk and paymaster of the Board of War, Assistant 
Auditor General, and Register of the United States Treasury. See Appleton's Cyclopaedia 
of American Biography, vol. iv. p. 541. — Eds. 

448 TnE TRUMBULL P APE US. [1770. 

State that the Resolution referred to may be carried into 
effect as early as possible. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Your Excellency's most obed fc servant, 
(By order of the Board) 

Joseph Nourse, 
As* Aud r Gen 1 . 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull, 


Sir, — Your favour of the 19 th inst is duly received 
by M r Hu agent to M r Bell. I shall gladly comply with 
any request that seems to promise the furtherance of the 
interest of his Most Christian Majesty & of these States ; 
but the plan of obtaining the supply of provisions, men- 
tioned in }*our letter, apears to me inelligable. 

The Com y Gen 1 of the American army has agents in 
everv town & district in this State, who have orders to 
purchase all the pork that is for market, & a certain 
quantity of beef; should another set of purchasers, in- 
dependant of him, be authorised to buy, it would im- 
mediatly create a rivalship betwixt them, & serve to 
enhance the price of meat without increasing its quan- 
tity. This evil we experienced last fall when M r Price 
contracted to supply the fleet at Boston with meat & 
flour ; it raised those articles 25 p c fc , tho' that did not 
enable him to victual the fleet. Great part of their sup- 
plies were finally drawn from the public magazines. You 
may depend on my stating your demands to the Com y 
Gen 1 , & advising his supplying the squadron with every 
necessary article. Should he decline, you may depend 
on every assistance from me which prudence & a regard 
for the interest of his Most Christian Majesty can die- 


tate. In the mean time I must advise your informing 
him or Peter Colt, Esq., of Weathersfield, who acts as his 
Deputy, both in this State & Massachusetts, of the quan- 
tities of salted beef pork & vegitables which are wanted 
for the fleet. 

I am, Sir, 

Your most obd. servant. 

Indorsed : Copy of Letter to Mon s De Valnais at Boston, Oct. 25, 79. 


Hartford, l flt Novem r , 1779. 

Dear Sir, — I have the honor & pleasure of your favor 
under the 19 th ult°. I believe it necessary to apologize 
for the trouble I seem to have given by my forreign 
correspondence comitted to your care ; the best apologey, 
however, is that it is intended for the public good. The 
seeming inattention of Congress gives me occasion to ob- 
serve to you what I have for a long time noted in my own 
mind with a degree of anxiety, — that the too great atten- 
tion paid by Congress to the executive branch of business 
gives them too little time for the more important part of 
their duty, the deliberative considerations, which ought 
to be perhaps their principal concern. 

Your mention of the manner in which your son was 
appointed to the place with which he is honored removes 
every doubt which could have entered my mind on the 
occasion. Rest assured, my dear Sir, I am perfectly easey 
on that score. 

I am much obliged by your care in forward 5 my letter 
to M r Van der Capellen. Permit me to trouble you with 
another favor with which I have been honord from that 
worthy patriot. I wish it to be translated with the 



Our expectations of the Count D'Estaing have been 
long delayed ; we hear nothing yet of his arrival on our 
coast. The evacuation of New Port by the enemy, in a 
precipitate & very extraordinary manner, is an event of 
much moment to this part of the country ; whether the 
enemy, by this movement, have in view the collect g their 
strength in one point to oppose any intended operations 
against N. York, whether they have a design with their 
collected strength to seize some favorable moment to 
strike an important blow, or whether they are pick g them- 
selves up in order to remove in a collected body from the 
continent, a little further time must decide. 

I sincerely lament the prospect before us respect 5 our 
finances ; whether the remedy applying by Congress will 
prove the radical cure we wish, I will not absolutely de- 
cide. I wish however the aspect in my view had a more 
favorable appearance. A remedy I think, however, might 
be applied, a remedy simple, easy, & perfectly right ; in 
short, two words will express it. Do Justice. If our 
circumstances will not admit of the full & imediate ope- 
ration of this remedy, let our credit be assured in the best 
& most absolute terms that it shall be done. Do away 
false measures & false weights ; fix the currency if it 
can be done ; if not, fix a standard measure by which the 
variation may be ascertained & let that variation be con- 
stantly made up. Continue the present currency a legal 
tender to all intents & purposes, but when so issued let 
the quantity tendered make up the w r ant of quality or 
value ; make good all contracts equal to the value con- 
tracted ; remove the deception of sounds ; & let not nom- 
inal value attempt to drown the idea of intrinsic worth ; 
in short use this substitute for money as it ought to be 
used, measuring it by some real standard. Tn this track 
I think our political safety must be pursued ; we have 
tried too many devious paths already, the more we 
deviate, the further we stray. The only sure way in my 


mind is the simple road of justice & equity, k in that only 
shall we find our security. Great resources might be 
found from internal loans, were those loans on proper 
footing. How long are the lenders to want the assurance 
that the value lent shall be justly repaid, or secured ? 
Was this assurance given in positive times the present 
creditors would be perfectly easey, k might be induced 
to trust large further sums. Till that I think all pros- 
pect from loans must fail. 


Hartford, 1 st Novem r , 1779. 

Gentlemen, — Your favor of 5 th Octo has been duly 
received, k have applied to M r Cheever for further supply 
of old arms, to make up the 1,000 mentioned in your 
letter. Their prices of 21- k 1/6 as heretofore fixed, I 
understand to be in L. money, agreable to its value in 
1774, which will not be so far inadequate, perhaps, as 
you have imagined. 

I am told a quantity of the arms taken with Gen 1 Bur- 
goyne, are still at Springfield to be disposed of; will it be 
permitted this State to receive any number of those arms, 
& acc° for them at any just appraizement ? A quantity 
of sulphur & petre, also under care of M r Cheever to 
be wrought into powder, may possibly be manufactured 
in this State to great advantage. An excellent mill for 
the purpose is erected at Glassenbury on the Connecticut 
River, where conveyance by water from Springfield is very 
easey. On application from Gen 1 Washington this State 
have encouraged him to be supplied with 10 or 15 tons 
gunpowder. If a quantity of the above sulphur k petre 
may be had, we are willing to receive it on acc° of the 
powder, or otherways r.s may be agreed. 

Hon. Board of Warr. 



His Excellency Governor Trumbull, Hartford. 

Boston, Nov 3 d , 1779. 

Sir, — I have received your favour of the 25 th ult., and 
observe the contents. 

I thank you for every expression of regard for the 
interest of his Most Christian Majesty, but cannot think 
that the method you propose for the supplying of the 
fleet is so well calculated to promote that interest, as the 
plan adopted by me, and which appears to you " unellig- 
ab]e.' , If liberty had been given for the purchasing of live 
stock, effectual care would have been taken that the pur- 
chasers for the Kino; should not have needlesslv enhanced 
the prices, nor appeared in the character of rivals. What 
provisions they could have obtained would have been 
drove down, with a small expence, and put up with salt 
already provided, which article is much cheaper here than 
with you. But upon the plan which your Excellency 
proposes, it will be extremely difficult to procure teams ; 
an extra commission will be incurred, and the price of 
carting will raise the provisions to the King full twenty 
p r cent, besides employing a larger number of oxen to 
bring the provisions than we should want from your State 
for the completion of our quantity. For the above rea- 
sons, and for others which might be mentioned, I must 
depend upon your kind promise that you will afford 
" every assistance which prudence, and a regard for the 
interest of his Most Christian Majesty can dictate." 
I am, Sir, 

Your most obd*, humb. serv\ 

De Valnais. 

His Excellency Gov Trumbull. 

P. S. The Captains of the French ships who have put 
up to New London Harbour complain they have receiv'd 

1779.] TTTADDEUS BURR. 4 53 

no assistance from the inhabitants there ; as they were in 
distress I beg of your Excellency the favour to request 
of the said inhabitants that they would not take any ad- 
vantage from their unhappy situation, but on the contrary 
to afford them all the succour & support that they are in 
right to expect among civilized nations, and that human- 
ity instead of interest would govern 'em in favour of those 
unhappy Frenchmen. 

Indorsed: 3 Nov, 1779. Mons r De Valnais, French Consul at Boston, 
rec d 21 th ins 1 , answered. 


Fairfield, November 5 th , 1779. 

Sir, — At a legal Towm Meeting held in this town 
in Sept r last, it was unanimously voted ; that the town 
disapproved of the practice of boats going to Long Island 
and plundering the inhabitants ; and directed me to write 
to your Excellency to request that you would grant com- 
missions for no more boats this way. Last Tuesday some 
of the civil authority and selectmen being meet, were in- 
formed, that some boats had landed and plundered several 
of the inhabitants in a most cruel manner, enquired of me 
whether I had wrote to your Excellency agreable to the 
vote of the town. I told them that my great hurry in 
geting a little place to cover me had hitherto prevented 
me ; upon which they urged and directed that I should 
not fail to write your Excellency by this post, and inform 
you that last week three boats, under the sanction of 
commissions granted to Cap* Sam 1 Lockwood, Gap* Haw- 
ley and others, landed on Long Island, plundered several 
persons, perticularly Co 1 Benjamin Floyd, who is our 
prisoner on parole there, whom they treated very cruelly 
and plundered him of five or six hundred pounds hard 
money and all his wearing apparel and household fur- 


nit lire. That the town, as such, not only disapprove of 
such conduct from principle, but are alarmed with respect 
to their own safety, as nothing can be expected but retal- 
iation, which is every day in their power. That unless a 
stop can be put to this practice the inhabitants on the sea 
coast of this town will be under a necessity to move back, 
and leave the little interest they had left them. That they 
therefore request and desire that your Excellency would not 
only not grant any more commissions to boats this way, 
but would call in the commissions which are already out. 
That did your Excellency know the bad use there is made 
of them, by lending them to one and another who care 
for nothing but plundering, and the distress and uneasi- 
ness it gives the inhabitants among us, they doubt not 
but you would immediately call in the commissions 
already granted, and stay your hand from giving out 
any more. 

Your compliance with this request will greatly oblige 
the town. 

I am, with due respect and esteem, 
in behalf of the town. 

Your Excellency's friend & very hum. s*. 

Thaddeus Burr. 

Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed: 5 th Nov., 1779. Thad 3 Burr, Esq 1- , de armed whale boats plun- 
dering, rec d 17 th ins*. 


Philadelphia, Nov r 12 th , 1779. 

Please your Excellency, — Providence by another 
striking instance has reproved our confidence in an arm 
of flesh and taught us the vanity of humane power, 
however great, to insure success, has defeated our flat- 
tering prospects to the southward & tumbled our tour- 
ing expectations to fehe ground. By dispatches from 

1779.] JESSE ROOT. 455 

Gen 1 Lincoln to Congress the combined armies of 
America & France under Gen 1 Lincoln & the Count de 
Estaing laid siege to Savanna, opened their batteries 
on the 5 th of Oct r , & continued the siege with little in- 
termission untill the 8 th of Oct 1 ', without brinu;inL!; the 
enimy to surrender, and the time being elapsed which 
the Count had liberty to stay, no alternative was left but 
to raise the siege or attempt to carry the town by storm. 
The latter was concluded upon, the necessary prepara- 
tions were made, and in the morning of the 9 th ult° they 
attempted to storm the place and were unfortunately re- 
pulsed with considerable loss. Precise returns are not 
transmitted, but Gen 1 Lincoln says in his letter he had 
about 174 killed & wounded. Count de Estaing is 
wounded in two places. He behaved with great spirit 
on the occasion, & appeared greatly chagrined at the 
misfortune. Count Poulaski is killed, k the loss of the 
French is said to be between three & four hundred killed 
& wounded. The French troops have reimbarkeel on 
board their ships & Gen 1 Lincoln has retired to South 
Carolina & left the enemy in possession of Georgia. The 
French army consisted of three thousand ; the troops 
under Gen 1 Lincoln between one & two thousand ; the 
enemy, after Col. Maitland joined them, were about 3,000 
strong. The Lord reigneth, who will make us to know- 
that the glory of our salvation he will not divide with 
another. I believe such disappointments are necessary, 
& that which now appears to be a misfortune will prove 
the means of our final safety. Your Excellency's letter 
respecting the monthly requisitions of the State of Con- 
necticut has been laid before Congress & is committed ; 
how successful! it will be am unable to determine, as 
almost every reason suggested therein were urged by the 
delegates in Congress against so large a sum, at the time 
of making the requisition. However, shall do every thing 
in my power to have the sum reduced. By several letters 


rec d we were able to satisfy Congress of our right to sit in 
Congress & now hold our seats their, althoug we have re- 
ceived no official information. M r Sherman is returning 
home. I expect to leave Congress about the 25 th hist., 
before which time I expect to be releived. M r Laurence 
left this last Saturday to go to Charlestown, from whence 
he is to go to Holland to negotiate a treaty of amity & 
commerce with those Provinces & to obtain a loan. He 
was gone before M r Brown arrived. The President took 
your letters directed to M r Laurence. Since writing this 
letter Gen 1 Lincoln letter is published in the paper to 
which I refer your Excellency for a particular acct ; and 
am, most respectfully, 

Your Excellency's most obed^ humble servant. 

Jesse Root!. 

P. S. Col Jon th Trumbull is appointed a Commissioner 
on the Board of Treasury during the pleasure of Congress, 
with a salary of 14,000 dollars p r annum. 

His Excellency Gov r Trumbull. 

Indorsed : 12 th Nov., 1779. Hon Jesse Root, de Georgia, M r Sherman 
returning, M r Laurens gone, Jon Ul Trumbull, Jun r , Esq r , a Comissioner of 
the Treasury. 


Sir, — I have received your Excellency's letter of the 
26 th of NovenuV. 

All thoughts of Count D'Estaino; coming to Boston 
harbour being now over, at least for this year, I have 
accordingly no more want of provisions from the State 
of Connecticut for the present. 

Permit me to thank you for the very just observations 
you have been pleased to adress me in your letters. 
Unacquainted with the country in which you live, I have, 
I sincerely own it, misapprehended entirely your mean- 
ing. I applaud very much to the method you have 


pointed out in your last, and whenever occasion will re- 
quire me to apply to the State of Connecticut for pro- 
visions I shall strictly follow your kind instructions. 

As to the postscript of my last, I am not prejudiced in 
favour of my countrymen ; the liberality of my senti- 
ments won't admitt I should believe what they say more 
than the Americans. The losses the owners in France 
must suffer by the distresses those ships have been in 
are of so great a nature to them, that it occasioned me 
to write to you on their account, in order to prevent any 
abuses be committed by some individuals on the French- 
men, captains of the said ships. 

Of publick indulgencies, I acknowledge that the French 
nation has in many instances experienced every favour 
from the United States, as well as from each State in 
particular. I am sorry to hear that the agent for the 
ships, whom I don't know, has bid personnally at the 
vendues. I write by this post to the French captains 
for to prevent such abuses be committed hereafter by 
their agent, and you may rely upon my honour that if 
such thing happen at the general vendue on the G th of 
this month, I shall take care the said offenders (if French- 
men) be punished exemplarily. I beg you would let it 
me know. 

Give me leave to add, I will at all times do my utmost 
on my part in order to preserve that harmony & amity 
between the two nations which are so necessary to the 
welfare of both. 

I am, with the greatest regard, 

Sir, your Excellency's 

most obedient & humble serv\ 

De Valnais, Consul of France. 
Boston, 2 d Decem br , 1779. 

His Excellency Governour Trumkuli . 

Indorsed: 2 d December. 177!). Mons* De Valnais, Consul of France, tie 
purchase of provisions, the vendue at X. Loudon, harmony, &c, ree J th 



Lebanon, 13 th December, 1779. 

My dear Sir, — I have the pleasure to have receiv'd 
yours of the 12 th of November by Brown, in which you 
mention your having open'd my last to the Hon le M r 
Laurens. I entirely approve your having taken that 
liberty, and am only to request that you will be pleas'd 
to forward to me by Brown's return the papers which 
were enclos'd in that, as well as in a former one to M r 
Laurens with their translations. My correspondence with 
the Baron V. D. Capellan, I have the vanity to believe 
has not been entirely without advantage to my country. 
But whatever may be its consequences, and whatever 
the opinions of my countrymen, I have at least one 
pleasure in reflecting that my intentions have been al- 
together upright and liberal. I have entertained a hope 
that the Baron who appears so warmly our friend would 
have receiv'd some honorary notice of gratitude from 
Congress, — perhaps, indeed, it may not be even now 
too late, nor even till now an intentional neglect. 

I have likewise to acknowledge the receipt of yours of 
the 22 nd November, enclosing a Resolution of Congress 
recommending a new and general limitation of prices. 
You know what have ever been my principles on this sub- 
ject, and I scarcely need say that I now, as much as ever, 
dread the consequences of the attempt. And besides 
my objection to limitations in every shape, the present 
is too violent and extensive. The rate of 20 for 1 is so 
low as will reduce many articles near one half from their 
present price, and is a degree of appreciation too great 
and too sudden to be borne even by its favourers, if in 
its own nature, appreciation were at any time or in any 


manner to be effected; beside that it must inevitably 
cause more oppression and injustice than have ever been 
deriv'd from the past depreciation. The memory of our 
struggles for the redemption of our Old Tenor affords a 
fine lesson to us in our present situation, and the course 
which was then discover'd (after repeated fruitless and 
tedious attempts for more than 20 years) will be found 
at length to be the only one by which the Commonwealth 
can be steer' d thro' the sea of disorder and confusion in 
which she is now toss'd. 

I conceive it to be our first business to do justice on 
the principles which I suggested to M r Laurens of mak- 
ing good our contracts, both public and private, and 
establishing the currency as a tender, not for ideal and 
nominal, but real and intrinsic value. And after having 
adjusted our tables of valuation, it is then our next step 
to lay taxes for the redemption of the current bills, to 
be paid positively at fix'd and certain periods. And next 
to this the most absolute and definite promises should be 
given for the encouragement of internal loans. Certainty 
of payment is all that is wanted. And I have no doubt 
but immense sums, sufficient even for our enormous cur- 
rent expenditures would soon be rec'd in the offices, were 
the people once fully satisfied they should receive a value 
equivalent to what they deposit, with the interest of G 
per cent in similar value. At least we should receive so 
much as would give us the power of destroying a con- 
siderable part of what should be collected in taxes. 

If a plan of this kind were adopted, mankind, ceasing 
to find their imaginary interest advanc'd by such a 
method, would not only cease to encourage a further de- 
preciation, but on the contrary would at once conspire, 
on natural principles, to promote as great and as rapid an 
appreciation as ought ever to take place. We have for 
a long time gone on in the preposterous, and I know not 
whether I may not add the uncharitable and the illiberal 


supposition that the inhabitants of this country are pos- 
sessed of more virtue, and are less govern'd by motives of 
self interest, than the inhabitants of other eountrys and of 
different ages. But we must at Length acknowledge that 
we are hid men. Our political systems have been too long 
form'd upon the hypothesis, " that the people are vir- 
tuous," whereas all exertions of government ought to be 
founded on this axiom, " that mankind are vicious," and 
influenced only by this one first principle of their nature, 
love of their own good. The art of government, there- 
fore, is to render individual and public good inseperable, 
and to lead men thro' their own interest to advance the 
interest of their country. 

For the redemption of our Loan Certificates and foreign 
debts it will be next our duty to establish funds and 
stocks on liberal and fix'd principles, with this precaution, 
— that whatever bills may be necessarily emitted for 
those purposes bear on their face the conditions of credit 
and the absolute promise of payment, without reference 
to unseen Resolutions of Congress, and an additional 
reserve against the possibility of their depreciation. 

Excuse me that my anxiety leads me into a train of 
thought which is not new to } t ou, and which I have al- 
ready often (perhaps too often) repeated. But I cannot 
bear the idea of standing with folded arms, an idle spec- 
tator of measures which appear to me at once unjust and 
ruinous. But 1 forbear, and am, my dear Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant. 

J. T L. 

P. S. Our General Assembly is adjourned to the G th 
Jan y next. Shall expect an answer to the letter sent p 
Brown, dated 2 nd Nov r ult. 

Hon Samuel Huntington, Esquire, President in Congress. 

Indorsed ■ X° 12. 13 th December, 1779. To President Huntington* de 
my letters to M r Laurens and general limitation of prices. P M r Brown. 

1779.] PETER COLT. 4G1 


May it please your Excellency, — I find myself 
obliged in duty to the good people of this State, to lodge 
an information against the owners & managers of the 
Powder Works at New Haven, that will greatly effect their 
characters as honest men, or knowledge in the mistery of 
their profession. In the course of a few months I have 
purchased on account of self & friends of M r Isaac Doo- 
little 3,300 lb. gun powder, 2,900 lb. of which have been 
sent to Boston for the use of privateers, every cask of 
which have been condemned, & what was sold has been 
returnd. Upon its being proved it fell short as follows, 
1,400 lb. was proved with powder that carried "a ball 75 
yards, whilst that from M r Doolittle's works, & which he 
assured me was made in the best manner, carried a ball 
only 25 yards, & some cask only 15 yds. The other 
parcel of 1,500 w r as proved with powder that carried the 
ball 100 yards, a greater proportion of powder being 
used ; the same quantity of our powder carried the ball 
only 32 yds, some of the cask only thirty yards ; so that 
the whole of both parcels were condemned as utterly 
unfit for use. This is such a manifest piece of knavery 
or ignorance in a branch of business where, not only the 
character of State is concerned, but the interest & lives 
of the people, that it merits the immediate attention & 
interfearance of the Legislature. Your Excellency will 
recollect that the forts & militia of the western part of 
the State are chiefly supplied with this necessary article 
of defence from those works, & on that account excuse 
the trouble of this information. I would only further 
observe that M r Barrel wrote us, that the same quantity 
of powder, made at Andover by M r Philips, carried 


a ball 125 yds when M r Doolittle's did not exceed 
25 yds.* 

Your Excellency will excuse my laying before you the 
ruinous state of the Commissary Department. For some 
time I have been greatly cramped in my measures for 
want of cash, and for nearly a month past have been 
wholly destitute, at the very season when the most steady 
& unremiting exertions were necessary for keeping up 
the supplies for daily consumption, & filling the maga- 
zines for next campain. Unluckily Col° Champion, who 
agreed to furnish beef cattle to barel, has been so wretch- 
edly supplied with cash, that he has wholly stoped his 
supplies, tho little more than half the quantity of beef 
directd is put into barels. This with my want of cash, 
which prevents my people from securing the pork, will 
prevent our establishing magazines of salted meat as 
ordered and expected. With respect of bread, we are 
still in a worse prediciment. The fine crops of wheat in 
Maryland are ruined since harvest by the fly; in Pensil- 
vania & Jerseys, the crops were greatly damaged by 
blast. Wheat in those States is selling at 40 doll 3 , some 
as high as 50 doll 3 , p bushel. The late drouth has in 
those States k N. York so damedged the crops, now on 
the (/round, that the farmers are renclerd on that account 
more unwilling to thresh & sell the present crops. Those 
causes, & many mills being idle for want of water, has 
prevented our feeding the main army. They are greatly 
distressed for want of bread. Gen 1 Poor's brig e are fre- 
quently wholly without bread ; the troops at Horse Neck 

* At a meeting of the Governor and Council of Safety, Dec. 20, 1779, the following 
action was taken, " Whereas complaint is made to his Excellency the Governor of great 
insufficiency in the quality and strength of the powder made, making and sold out at the 
powder manufactory at New Haven : Resolved, that James Wadsworth and Andrew 
Ward, Esq™, be and they are hereby appointed a committee to essay the powder made and 
making at the said manufactory, and enquire into the causes of any deticiency that may 
appear to be in the quality of the same, and make report to hi3 Excellency the Governor 
of their proceedings therein as soon as conveniently may be, that proper order may be 
taken thereon." See Public Records of Connecticut, May, 1778-Apnl, 1780, pp. 440, 
447. — Eos. 

17 70.] ROGER SHERMAN, 4G3 

k Stanford are starving ; from thence to Providence there 
is no deposit of flour of any consequence. Under these 
circumstances without cash, or even the promise of it, 
without credit, & the fears of a regulating act, it cannot 
be expected that I should procure bread for the troops 
"without the aid of government. The people are not 
willing to turn out the one third of the late assessment, 
as they pretend that was only for the 4,000 militia, in 
case they were called into actual service. Your Ex- 
cellency will please favour me with your advice & 
directions, & thereby oblige your 

most obedient servant. 

Peter Colt. 

His Excellency Jox T Trumbull, Esquire. 

Indorsed by Gov. Trumbull: 10 th Decern., 1779. Peter Colt, Esq r , 
D. C. G. Pur 3 , de New Haven Powder, &c, rec d 19 th ins. 


Philadelphia, Dec r , 20 th , 1779. 

Sir, — Your Excellency's letter to Congress respecting 
the lessening the State's quota of the monthly taxes, and 
retaining the money raised on the last continental tax, 
was referred to a committee who report as to the first 
that it would be attended with great difficulty and in- 
convenience to alter the quotas of any of the States, and 
that the state of the continental treasury will not admit 
of a compliance with the latter. They have reported to 
allow continental pay and rations to militia raised for 
the defence of the State. 

The report has not been acted on by Congress, tho' 1 
have moved several times to have it considered. I sup- 
pose it will be accepted. There are very great com- 
plaints of the want of money in every department, and 
Congress depends wholly on the several States for sup- 

464 tup: tjkjmbull papers. [1779. 

plies, except what comes into the loan offices. Warrants 
will be drawn on the several States for the monies that 
will become due by the first of January, and unless thev 
are punctually answered very disagreable consequences 
may be expected. I was not here when Congress re- 
solved not to emitt bills of credit beyond the amount of 
two hundred million dollars, but what remains of that is 
not near sufficient to discharge the debts contracted by 
the commissaries k quarter masters ; some warrants have 
been already drawn on the State treasuries, and if there 
is not a xevy vigorous exertion of the States to aid in 
procuring supplies, not only of money but provisions, the 
army cannot be kept together. Congress has resolved 
to call on the several States for their quotas of the sup- 
plies in kind, that are necessary for carrying on the war, 
and to credit all articles of the same kind & quality at 
the same prices, and other at proportionate prices. The 
estimates and quotas are now preparing, and as soon as 
any State agrees and is prepared to procure its quota all 
purchases by commissaries and quarter masters in such 
State is to be discontinued. 

As to the quota of the monthly taxes, if Connecticut 
had not suffered any by the enemy its just quota would 
not have exceeded 1,400,000 dollars, and North Caro- 
lina's ought to have been the same, whereas but 1,000,000 
dollars per month is required of that State. I have 
heard of no complaint from any State except Connecticut 
as to the apportionment, and several of the States, if not 
all, have actually passed laws for raising the money, so 
that it would be difficult to alter the proportions ; if the 
Hon ble Assembly of our State dont think proper to raise 
the whole, I should think it would be best to raise about 
1,400,000 dollars per month, and trust to supplying the 
deficiencv by economv in expenditures, or some other way. 

Col. Wadsworth's resignation of his office of Commis- 
sary General is accepted, and Col. Blaine is appointed, 

1779.] ROGER SHERMAN. 405 

but has not given his answer; & Col. Wadsworth and 
his deputies are requested to continue until a new one 
is ready to transact the business. General Green has 
requested leave to resign the oilice of Quarter Master 
General, but it is not yet granted. Jonathan Trumbull, 
jun r , Esq r , is elected a member of the Board of Treasury, 
the other members are present, transacting the business 
and are very desirous to have him joyn them. I dont 
learn that he has yet given an answer. I suppose he 
has been duly notified of the appointment. I wish he 
may accept it. The salary, tho' it sounds high, is really 
low as prices are at present ; but it is the intention of 
Congress that the members of that Board should have 
adequate salaries. I hope we shall before long return 
to our old standard of lawful money. A committee, con- 
sisting of a member from each State, reported to recom- 
mend to the several States to revise their laws making the 
paper currency a tender, and frame them so as to prevent 
injustice to the debtors or creditors, but it has not yet 
passed Congress. In copying the resolutions recommend- 
ing a general limitation of prices, the Secretary omitted 
that approving the doings of the Hartford Convention ; 
the whole are contained in the enclosed paper. Those 
resolutions passed nem. con.; the good effect expected 
from them is to reduce the prices to a level in all the 
States, with expectation that by the operation of taxes they 
may be kept so, and even reduced below the limitation. 

We have had no official accounts from Europe since 
the Minister of France came from thence. The enclosed 
papers contain our latest accounts from London. The 
Secretary says that he transmits the Journals of Con- 
gress monthly to each State. M r Ellsworth arrived here 
last Wednesday. M r Huntington and he are well. I want 
to return home, wisli Col. Dyer or another of the delegates 
would come as soon as possible. We ought to have three 
at least constantly attending. 



The Assembly of Pennsylvania have passed a resolve 
to apply to the Assembly of Connecticut to submit the 
controversy respecting the disputed territory to be de- 
cided agreable to the Articles of Confederation. I wish 
that controversy and every other of like kind were settled 
right, but doubt whether this is a suitable time to have it 
duly attended to. 

I am, with the greatest respect, 

Your Excellency's humble servant. 

Roger Sherman. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 


His Excellency Jonathan Trumbull, JEsqr, Governor, &c, of the 
State of Connecticut. 

Mount Holly, Dec% 1779. 

Sir, — The inclosed is a translation of a letter I lately 
received from Baron Van Der Capellen, of which he de- 
sires me to communicate to your Excellency such parts 
as I think proper. In order fully to answer his expecta- 
tions, & discharge the trust reposed in me, I have tran- 
scribed the whole letter, except a paragraph or two which 
personally concerns himself ; and in which he recounts 
the persecution he has met with for his exertions in the 
cause of America. 

All his letters to me, except the one above mentioned, 
and all the pamphlets to which he refers me have unfor- 
tunately miscarried ; & I fear are fallen into the hands of 
the enemy, which will probably give a new edge to the 
malevolent spirit with which his adversaries pursue his 
ruin. I consider him as a valuable correspondent, whose 
acquaintance it behoves me to cultivate were it only for 
the public advantage that may be derived from an epis- 
tolary intercourse with a gentleman of such extensive 


information respecting the affairs of his Republic, a Re- 
public, to me, the most intricate in its construction, & the 
most villainous imposition upon the rights of mankind, of 
any that I have met with. 

I shall be obliged to your Excellency for acknowledg- 
ing the receipt of this letter, that I may be assured to 
have effectually discharged the agreeable office with 
which our illustrious correspondent has honoured me. 

There is nothing new in this quarter that deserves 
your Excellency's notice. The state of our finance is to 
me a source of daily and nightly disquiet. Every expe- 
dient hitherto adopted seems too slow in its operation. 
But your Excellency will not mistake me that I dispond. 
No, Sir, never. I despise the little mind that shrinks 
before peril, as much as I admire the daring spirit which 
stands collected 

" while dangers thicken round." 

Providence has ever done most for us when we were best 
convinced of the inadequacy of our own resources ; and, 
tho' the allusion is a little bizarre, I can assure you that 
our military situation hath 'never given me more alarm, 
than our pecuniary one does now. I hope the States will 
adopt the limitation of prices, and be in a condition to 
pay the taxes of tills year at the day. If any part is 
ready, that they will help Congress along for a little at 
present ; as laying in the magazines for the ensuing cam- 
paign, which must be done tho' there may be some proba- 
bility of a peace, is what principally creates the present 
embarrasment. When this is reasonably well expedited, 
the Congress, I hope, will see their way plainer ; and in 
raising the next year's quota, place the first payment at 
as early a day as possible, the beginning of February, if 
practicable. I am fully persuaded that we can, with 
proper diligence & exertion, turn the tide of depreciation 
notwithstanding its present impetuosity. By the united 


efforts of the States, & some measures of less conse- 
quence taken & taking by Congress, I- flatter myself 
with the event. 

Please to accept of my ardent wishes for the continuance 
of your personal happiness, & eminent success in your 
arduous station ; & in the number of your Excellency's 
most humble & obedient servants to place 

Wil : Livingston. 

His Excellency Governor Trumbull. 

Indorsed : December, 1779. Gov r Livingston, enclosing his Letter from 
Baron V. D. Capelleu, rec d 22 nd January, 80. 

Translation of Pari of a Letter from Baron Van tier Capdlen to 
Governor Livingston. 

Amsterdam, 16 th July, 1779. 
His Excellency Governor Livingston. 

Sir, — Understanding by Colo 1 Diricks that the Dutch 
language is familiar to your Excellency, I take the liberty 
of addressing your Excellency in it. I read English very 
well, but have not hitherto, through want of opportunity, 
applied myself to write it. 

I have found myself most highly honoured by your 
Excellency's letter of the 30 November, 1778, and hope 
that by my answer to Governor Trumbull in December 
& January last, you will already have seen how sensible 
I am of those demonstrations of respect with which they 
have been pleased repeatedly to honour me in America. 
This kindness I have not deserved. What I did from the 
meer love of liberty and a conviction of the cause of your 
brave countrymen, respecting the loan of the Scotch- 
brigade to the King of England, deserves not the least 
gratitude. It was my duty, to the utmost of my power, 
to prevent our troops from being employed to shed in- 
nocent blood : and for this America owes me no greater 
acknowledgments than are due to a judge who pronounces 


his sentence in favour of the party who is in the right. 
It is true my advice has plunged me into many difficul- 
ties ; and I still feel the effects of the unappeasable hatred 
which it has excited in some, against my person ; but am 
nevertheless convinced by the sequel, that all I said was 
true, and that all I predicted has come to pass. The 
approbation however of my conduct with the most es- 
timable part of the people I accept as an ample recom- 
pence, and it will afford me everlasting satisfaction that 
when so early as the 16 December, 1775, and when no 
mortal could foresee such speedy and happy effects from 
the enterprize of the Americans, yea at the time when 
they had not the appearance of a people, I declared my- 
self for them openly and in my public character. 

Your Excellency had no occasion to be sollicitous about 
curing me of any prejudices which I might have imbibed 
by the artifices of the enemies of America. I have re- 
mained altogether uncontaminated with such biasses. 
But this is not the case with the generality of my coun- 
trymen. They stood the greatest need of your Excel- 
lency's very seasonable letter. I have agreeable [to] 
your Excellency's permission, made the most public use 
of it. I permitted it first, together with Governor Trum- 
bull's, to be read in Dutch to persons of rank and influ- 
ence ; and finding the deep impression they made, caused 
them afterwards to be openly published in print. One 
of my near kinsmen, the Baron Van der Capellen of 
Marsch, who notwithstanding his affection for America, 
had not yet dared to venture his money in the American 
funds, was thereby so thoroughly convinced, that he 
immediately promised me 16,000 guilders. 

The reason why the thirteen United States have not 
found that credit in our country which the solidity of 
their cause deserve, is solely and entirely to be ascribed 
to this, that on the one hand, we are altogether ignorant 
of the true situation of your affairs, and on the other 


hand that the English cease not to propagate all manner 
of disadvantageous reports against you, and to diffuse the 
most idle and groundless "reports invented to aggrandize 
their own exploits as real and undoubted events. Now, 
they have subjected certain States ; then, others are ready 
to follow the example. One while there is discord in 
the Congress ; at another time the nation is inclin'd 
and even impatient to reconcile itself to England. Nay, 
even at this very instant when by the open declaration 
of Spain all reasonable men must see the impossibility of 
England's ever subduing America, which was before that 
far above her power, — the incursion into Virginia and 
the burning of two small villages with some shipping is 
represented and by many beleived, as if the whole in- 
dependency was thereby endangered. Yve deduce from 
it as a consequence that America is not sufficiently 
powerfull to protect her possessions, without considering 
that the most potent people in the world not excepting 
France itself, is not in a condition to defend all its cities 
and villages against every unexpected attack that may be 
made by the means of shipping. 

If the credit of Congress is ever established in our 
republic on a firm foundation (as it certainly w 7 ill be) it 
is necessary that the Hollanders should henceforth be 
made acquainted with America in its present circum- 
stances, its form of government, population, lands, mari- 
time power, trade, agriculture, resources, & disposition & 
manner of thinking of the people. In particular, as far 
as is practicable, repeated accounts ought to be trans- 
mitted of what daily occurs. But in order to render 
them useful, they ought greatly to differ from the hatch'd- 
up narratives of the English. They ought to comprehend 
everything, even the disadvantages that are inseperable 
from the fate of war, they ought in short, to be credible. 

The presence of Coll Diricks here has been of incon- 
ceivable benefit. This gentleman (with whom I was very 


glad to make an acquaintance, and the rather as he is of 
a good family in my province, and has, according to the 
testimonies with which he is furnished, reflected honour 
upon his native country by his conduct in the service of 
Congress) has thrown new light on several matters, and 
particularly on the present state of the American military 
force, bravery & exploits ; of this we had little or no 
knowledge. Meanwhile the American cause suffers in 
this country more prejudice for the want of necessary 
information than can be imagined. This I have requested 
in my former letter to Governor Trumbull in the strong- 
est manner and tendered my services to make the neces- 
sary use of it for the advantage of America ; not knowing 
at that time that America then had here an old & faith- 
full servant M r Dumas at the Hague. To this gentleman 
who serves America with heart & soul and lias done 
chearful service, everything of a public nature may be 
transmitted. Am I capable of assisting him in any thing ? 
Am I capable of promoting in the least, in my narrow 
sphere, the concerns of America ? Nothing will be more 
agreeable to me. Coll° Diricks can declare that my 
attachment to it is not barely speculative. Well known 
through the whole republic, and having many corre- 
spondents of every sort, I hope that my endeavours to 
procure loans for Congress will prove succesful. The 
Roman Catholicks here are very numerous and exceed- 
ingly warm in favour of America. I think something 
considerable may be done with them. I have in my 
province an extensive acquaintance with them, and can 
by the means of those obtain an introduction to others, 
their fellow-believers. Pity it is that at the moment that 
Spain declared, no negotiation was opened. The majority 
is at present of one mind, which probably of itself, prob- 
ably by a little detail that may be recounted by the 
English, probably for the very reason that nothing is 
done, may again subside ; the credit of England now 


begins in the opinion of many to stagger. We begin to 
think more seriously about that of America ; and for this 
reason, now is the proper time to commence a negotia- 
tion. As soon as one sheep (says the Dutch proverb) is 
over the bridge, the rest follow. The art only lies in 
getting over the first. 

Tf I may use so much liberty, I am of opinion (under 
correction) that the Congress would do well to send 
hither a person of distinction and prudence to transact 
their affairs. The time to receive openly a minister 
from the thirteen United States is indeed not yet arrived. 
This the republick (as I apprehend) even if they should 
enter into a war with England, will never consent to, till 
peace is obtained, and America declared independent by 
this court. It is moreover impossible for her, being on 
the land side everywhere naked, to be able to do other- 
wise, how well disposed soever she may be towards 
America. She can only remain neuter. But I should at 
the same time iudy;e it hiVhlv serviceable that the gentle- 
man who shall in due time be destined by Congress for 
such minister should immeadiately come, and keep himself 
only incognito, and as a private person, to learn the lan- 
guage and advantages of the country; and, which is 
always of great importance, as appears by Sir Joseph 
York, make his acquaintance and connections; and in 
the mean time, manage the affairs of America in silence, 
till the critical moment, that may enable him to ap- 
pear in a public character, which moment I think cannot 
be far distant, because I cannot apprehend how Eng- 
land can longer prosecute the war. From such a man 
America might derive signal service. The correspond- 
ence with our republic, at second hand through France, is 
rather too dilatory. That department appears to have 
as much or rather more business than it can dispatch ; 
and I fear that the affairs of America suffer on that 


From the situation of public affairs in our republic, 
we cannot at present conclude anything certain. 1 have 
mention in my former to Governor Trumbull of the efforts 
of Amsterdam, to which she had added Harlem, to prevent 
the ruling powers of the Province of Holland, nay the 
whole States, from averting their eyes (on the lordly 
demand of England) from the liberty given us by treaties, 
and the law of nations, to transport ship-timber and 
meterials to France in time of war. I even then re- 
marked that those endeavours were at first fruitless ; that 
the ruling powers of Holland as well as the other prov- 
inces were not pleased for some time to concur with the 
sentiments of Amsterdam, but have conceeded this to 
England, regardless of the patience of the French Court, 
which justly considers this step as a violation of the 
neutrality. It is certain that the consequence of this has 
been that the King of France by a new tarif or edict * has 
laid a duty of 15 per cent on all goods imported from the 
republic, exempting only the cities of Amsterdam and 
Harlem in consideration of their patriotic zeal This edict, 
rigorous^ executed, cannot but reduce all the principal 
trading cities to the greatest extremity. It must bring 
Rotterdam to the very brink of destruction. The mer- 
chants of all the commercial cities have presented peti- 
tion on petition to the States and Stadholder, which at 
first availed nothing. The necessity is however at last 
become so urgent, that Amsterdam and Harlem have 
obtained the majority of the Assembly of Holland in their 
favour, & that so lately as the 24 th of June. It is resolved 
by the States of that province to send circular letters to 
all the other provinces to admonish them in the most 
serious manner speedily and chearfully to resolve on the 
subject of an unlimited convoy of all licit merchandize, 

* Tour Excellency will be pleas'd to observe that we have no commercial treaty with 
France, and that the king is thus at liberty to deprive us of, or to grant us, all such privi- 
leges as he sees proper. We have no right to demand the least. 


and then have subjoined to it a secret and unanimous 
resolution that if the other six provinces shall neglect for 
the space of one month to act agreeable to the reasonable 
expectations of their High Mightinesses, that in such case 
and from thenceforth a committee will be established to 
advise what measures it will be necessarj' to adopt to 
satisfy the serious intentions of their High Mightinesses, 
and for removing the just complaints of the suffering 
cities and places of the Province of Holland. This has 
been attended with this consequence, that the French 
ambassador has thereupon (on the 2 d of July) made this 
declaration to the States of Holland. 

" His Majesty, having seen the resolution taken by 
the States of the Province of Holland the 24 of June, 
has charged his ambassador with the States General, 
that he has principally for the benefit of the Province of 
Holland alone suspended the operation of the resolution 
of his Court of the 26 January, the 27 April, and 5 June 
to the first of August. That in consequence hereof all 
the inhabitants of the said province till the appointed 
period shall enjoy all the liberties and privileclges that 
have been granted hitherto to those of Amsterdam and 
Harlem exclusively, provided they are furnished with a 
certificate from the Commissary of the Marine at Am- 
sterdam or of the Agent of the Marine at Rotterdam. 
That his Majesty has made known his intentions on this 
head, to all the admiralties of his kingdom, because it is 
his Majesty's resolution that as soon as the unlimitted con- 
voys are dispatched, he will permit to be returned to that 
province all the moneys which have resulted from his 
impost, that may have already been received, in virtue 
of the said edict. His Majesty assures himself that this 
new proof of his good inclination will more and more 
illustrate the propriety of his plan, which is solely 
adopted to promote the interest of their High Mighti- 
nesses, provided, above all things, that they do not re- 


cede from the strict neutrality, of which it behoves hi in 
never to lose sight. 

" His Majesty charges his ambassador farther to give 
notice, that if the result of the neutrality of the repub- 
lic shall not be reduced to a certainty by the limittcd 
time of the first of August by means of a powerful pro- 
tection of the convoys, agreeable to the laws of general 
congruity, and what is stipulated by the treaties, the 
aforementioned edicts of the 26 January, 27 April, and 
5 th June will again commence to be put into execution, 
without deeming it necessary to make any new declara- 
tion on the part of his Majesty.'' 

What effect this declaration will produce, cannot at 
present be affirmed with certainty. We must first await 
the resolutions of the ruling provinces, in the majority 
of which the Stadholder has an unbounded influence. 
And that the Province of Holland alone, which indeed 
has sufficient weight for the purpose, will effectually take 
the great step, in case of the farther refusal of the ruling 
powers, of equipping and convoying ships on her own 
account, that is, commence war against England, is 
scarcely credible. Our men of war indeed lye princi- 
pally in Holland ; but they are the property of the 
whole Union. The sea officers are in the service of the 
States General, and must receive their orders from his 
Highness as Admiral General of the Union. To build 
and equip a competent number of ships on their own 
account, requires so much time, that peace w r ould prob- 
ably be concluded before they w r ould be ready for ser- 
vice. And then we must moreover suppose that the 
States of Holland were sufficiently unanimous amongst 
themselves, to take a step of such eclat and importance. 
Hitherto Amsterdam has effected whatever respects the 
affair of the convoy with the inconsiderable majority of 
10 to 8 voices. The resolve alone for appointing a com- 
mittee, N. B. to deliberate measures of damage, was 


taken unanimously. But this resolution (in my opinion) 
obliges the members to nothing. We may yet long delib- 
erate about those measures of damage without establish- 
ing any thing, unless it be any establishment that all 
propositions respecting the care of marine affairs should 
be thrown upon the Province of Holland alone, referring 
to the others the land forces ; in which, as it would 
certainly be an infraction of the Union, whereby the 
influence of the Stadholder would acquire irresistible 
strength, they would meet with so much opposition, as 
never to come to a conclusion, and this not taking place, 
and the other provinces continuing to keep and exercise 
their influence in naval affairs, I see not that Holland 
can avail itself of any other compulsory measure. She 
might indeed keep back her quota, and thus distress the 
confederacy, tho' by this we should not procure trade ; 
and perhaps the other provinces might also on their parts 
undertake something, which ought however to be deemed 
next to impossible, considering that the regulations of 
the French Court relative to our republic are far from 
having the approbation of our nation. We daily hear 
them openly condemned, and with great acrimony, as 
incompatible with their dignity and independance ; and 
this by men reputed, and really appearing to be zealous 
patriots. We in general hate the English most heartily ; 
but we have nevertheless not yet learnt to love the 
French, tho' our natural friends. 

In the year 1756 the English most cruelly distressed 
our navigation, so that we can count above fifty million 
that were illegally taken from our merchants; not to 
mention the inhuman cruelties inflicted upon our de- 
fenceless seamen. What did we ? We complained ; we 
remonstrated ; we sent ambassadors extraordinary ; we 
treated, and treated again, from one year to another, till 
the peace was concluded. And I beleive it will be the 
very case now. It is true 32 ships are agreed upon to 


be taken into service, besides those already at sea, which 
amount to about the same number. But whether as 
great dispatch is used in the matter as might be, I can- 
not determine. That I leave to its proper department. 

We have at present in Amsterdam the celebrated M r 
Stephen Sayre, late Sherif of London, a native of America, 
full of lire, spirit, and affection for his country. He has 
invented a very singular kind of ship, of construction 
altogether new, to appearance much stronger in. its 
make, less expensive, and a swufter sailer than any other 
hitherto seen. It may be entirely built, if that is one's 
choice, of pine. Our best ship-wrights, and several 
respectable American captains, now here, pronounce in 
its favour. One cannot but wonder at the simplicity of 
the invention. Some merchants have already contracted 
to have one built, which was to be set on the stocks yes- 
terday. But what is of more importance M r Say re has 
invented a plan perfectly original, to build ships of 
war ; a plan that I beleive never before entered into 
the imagination of man, tho' founded on the most sim- 
ple principles. He will, as soon as possible, open the 
matter to Congress in person ; and has in the meantime, 
for fear of a disaster on his voyage, committed the 
secret to me, to preserve for the benefit of America. I 
have no skill in ships or naval affairs. I therefore do 
not take upon me to decide concerning it. But as it 
appears to me, the invention is of the utmost moment ; 
and I believe that the observation of M r Sayre, that the 
power ivhich shall first introduce it into the marine, will be able 
to annihilate that of its enemies, certainly merits the con- 
sideration of Congress. The secret I shall the mean- 
while keep sacred ; hoping ho[w]ever, that thro' the safe 
arival of the inventor, Congress will not be necessitated. 

\Ccdera desunt.'] 



I N D E X. 

Abel, Major Elijah, 230. 

Absentees, 324. 

Acland, Lady Harriet, 1G4. 

Acland, Ma'jnr John ])., 164. 

Adams, Hon. Andrew, notice of, 256 n. 
Mentioned, 231, 256, 257, 263, 265, 267, 
275, 284 Letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 268". 

Adams, Capt. Ebenezer, 76. 

Adams, Hon, John, 200, 299. 

Adams, Hon. Samuel, notice of, 276 n. 
Mentioned. 200, 290. Letter from 
Jonathan Trumbull to, 276. 

Agnew, Gen. James, killed, 167, 172. 

Allen, Capt. Ebenezer, 192, 193. 

Altbouse, Lieut. , 210, 211. 

Apollo, frigate, 172, 185. 

Arbuthnot, Admiral Marriot, 431. 

Arnuld, Gen. Benedict, notice of, 129 n. 
Wounded, 158, 160. Mentioned, 27, 
52, 86, 93, 117, 119, 159, 348. Letters 
from, to Horatio Gates, 129, 136 ; to, 
from Peter Gansevoort, 130. 

Augusta, ship of the line, 172. 

Austin, D., Jr.; 403. 

Avery, John, 34. 


Backus, Elijah, 421. 
Bailey, Col. John, 136. 
Baldwin, Col. Jeduthan, 34. 
Balfour, Nisbet, 211. 

Barnes, Capt. , 211. 

Barrel, ,461. 

Bnrrington, Lieut. William, 80, 81. 

Bartlett, Benjamin, 24. 

Bartlett, Epbraim, 300, 357, 358, 359, 

360, 361. 
Bartlett, Josiah. 290. 
Barton, Lt.-Co'. William, 76, 81, 236. 
Beardstey, Col. Nehemiah, 230. 
Beatfy, Col. John, notice of, 435 n. 

Letter to, from G. Selleck Silhmau, 

Beebe, Capt. Bezaleel, 102. 

Beers, Nathan, 403. 

Bell, Daniel, 446, 448. 

Bemis's Heights, battle of, 158, 159. 

Bennington, 80, 117, 119, 120, 122, 123, 

125. Losses of the British at battle 

of, 116, 120, 121, 123. 
Betts, Lieut. James, 67. 

Bigelow, Major , 258, 265. 

Bingham, William, 430. 

Bishop, Samuel, 28. 

Blaine, Col. Epbraim, 464. 

Bland, Col. Theodoric, 311. 

Board of War, letter to, from Jonathan 

Trumbull, 451. 
Boston, Marine Board at, 45, 430 n. 
Botsford, Amos, 403. 
Bowen, Jabez, Dtp. Gov. of Rhode Island, 

notice of, 259 n. Mentioned, 330. 

Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 


Bowne, Major , 183. 

Bradford, Capt. John, 333. 

Bradford, William, Dep. Gov. of Rhode 

Island, notice of, 29 n. Letter from, to 

Jonathan Trumbull, 29. 
Bradley, Capt. Abraham. 98. 
Bradley, Cot. Philip B., 68, 148, 339. 
Brandvwine Creek, battle of, 140, 143, 

149, 205. 
Brant, Joseph, 111. 
Brooks, Benjamin, 338. 
Brown, Col. John, 150, 153. 
Brown, Jesse, express messenger, 35, 44, 

and passim. 
Brown, Capt. Stephen, 195. 

Bruce, Dr. , 229. 

Brunswick, A T . J., evacuation of, by the 

British troops, 62, 65. 

Buchanan, Capt. , 210. 

Buckland, Capt. Stephen, 202. 

Buell, . 403. 

Bull. Caleb, Jr., notice of, 409 n. Letter 

from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 409. 
Bur^oyne. Gen. John. 56, 82, 80,92, 103, 

104, 110, 111, 112. 113, 117, 118, 11'.), 

120, m, 1*28, 132, 135, 139, 149, 151, 

153, 158, 1(50, 101, 164, 165, 166, 16b, 

174, 175, 185, 202, 315, 451. 
Burr, Col. Aaron, 148. 



Burr, Lieut. Isaac, 231. 

Burr, Thaddeus, notice of, 31 n. Men- 
tioned, 28. 48, 231. Letters from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 31, 06, 453. 

Burrall, Col. Charles, notice of, 121 n. 
Mentioned, 19, 75, 70, 126. Letters 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 121, 

Bushnell, David, 183, 374. 

Butler, Col. John, 87, 119, 258. 

Butler, Col. Zebulon, 42, 43, 210, 211. 

Byng, Admiral John, 82, 83. 


Camden, Charles Pratt, Ear/ of, 175. 

Camp, Abiathar, 403. 

Canada, troops from, to reinforce Gen. 

Howe, 49. Reports from, 56. 
Canfield, John, 10. 
Cannon, to be cast at Salisbury, 5, 7, 11, 

12. Good quality of, 45. 
Carleton, Gen. Guv, 18, 56, 57, 194, 

Cartridges, need of, in Rhode Island, 250, 


Gary, Capt. , 421. 

Castleton, 73, 77, 84. 

Chad's Ford, 110. 

Champion, Col. Henry, 462. 

Chandler, John. 403." 

Chandler, Joshua, 403. 

Chaplains in the army, petition for the 

appointment of, 288. 
Chapman, Col. Samuel, 378. 
Charleston, 6'. C, ship Defence at, 244, 

245. Mentioned, 442. 
Chase, Thomas, 50. 
Chatham, William Pitt, Earl of, 175. 
Chauncey, Klisha, 11. 
Cheever, Ezekiel, 443, 451. 
Chesapeake Bay, 131, 134. 
Chittenden, Thomas, Gov. of Vermont, 

notice of, 192 n. Letter to, from 

Samuel Ilerriek, 192. 
Clark, Sir Prancis C, 158, 104, 166. 
Clark, Col. George Rogers. 399. 

Clark, Capt. , 193, 194. 

Clarke, Joseph., 371 

Clarke, G 


Peleg, and Mumford, 

Nathaniel, petition of, to General 
Assembly of Connecticut, 334. 

Ciaus, Col. Daniel, 119. 

Cleveland, Rev. Aaron, notice of, 410 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Clinton, Hon. George, notice of, 157 n. 
Mentioned, lbs, 151,155, 150. 166, 181, 
190. Letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 220; to, from James Wilkinson, 

Clinton, Sir Henry, notice of, 432 n. 
Mentioned. 102. 128, 151,150, 1G§ 109, 
179, 181, 1S5, 376, 431. Letters from, 

to Jonathan Trumbull, 432 ; to, from 
Jonathan Trumbull, 133. 

Clinton, Gen. James, 155, 156, 181. 

Clothing for the troops, 173, 174, 183, 
196, 204, 206, 213, 214, 299, 326. 

Coffin, Nathaniel, letter from, to Jon- 
athan Trumbull, 337. 

Collier, Sir George, 402. 

Colt, Peter, notice of, 401 n. Mentioned, 
382, 383, 449. Letters from, to Jon- 
athan Trumbull, 401, 461. 

Conciliation with America, draughts of 
bills read in the House of Commons in 
February, 1778, 222 et seg. 

Confederation, articles of, 200, 230, 256, 
290, 312, 320, 320, 347, 301. 

Congress, Continental, 137, 153. Meets in 
Philadelphia, 25. Disinclined to issue 
bills on interest, 26. Delay in print- 
ing the journals of, 27, 45. 441. Orders 
an investigation into affairs in the 
northern department, 132. Doings of, 
198, 248, 258, 259, 275. Reluctance of 
the Southern members to hold more 
than one session a day, 205. Com- 
plaints of, 20G, 209. Silas Deane com- 
plains of, 292 et scq., 356. Committee 
of, letters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
308, 309 ; to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 

Connecticut, asked to send troops to 
Rhode Island, 30, 37. Urged to rein- 
force Gen. Schuyler, 91, 92, 100. 
Mutiny of troops in, 99. To send 
reinforcements to the northern army, 
105, 124. Readiness of, to help defend 
the neighbouring states, 114. Urged 
to fill up its quota of troops, 210. Par- 
tiality of Divine Providence for, 212. 
Desired to raise troops for the defence 
of Hudson River, 220, 221. Urged to 
send forward troops to Rhode Island, 
228, 239, 240. 

Connecticut, General Assembly of, peti- 
tion of Peleg Clarke and Nathaniel 
Mumford to, 334. 

Connecticut, military officers in, letter 
to, from Israel Putnam, 143. 

Convention troops, 168, 170, 202, 301, 
302, 307, 311, 337, 443. 

Conwav, Gen. Thomas, 197. 

Cook, Col. Thaddeus, 160, 400, 401. 

Cooke, Nicholas, Gov. &f Rhode Island, 
notice of, 37 n. Mentioned, 81, 149. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Cornwallis, Charles, Marquis, 43, 71, 
201, 419. 

Cornwallis, Capt. , 71. 

Counterfeiters, 318. 

Craige, Lt.-CoL , 20. 

Crawford, Ensign , 193, 194. 

Crown Point, 04, 09. 

Currency, depreciation of the, 20, 284, 


328, obi. 

298, 299, 305, 306, 319. 32: 




Dabnev, , 240. 

Daggett, Rev. Naphtali, 403. 

Danbury, Conn., British expedition to, 51, 
00. Mentioned, 316, 017. 

Davenport, Col. Abraham, 00, 100, 231. 

Davies, Sir Charles, 176. 

Davis, Daniel, 334. 

Davis, Thomas, Jr., 300. 

Davis & Spooner, Messrs., 300. 

Dawson, Lieut. ,00. 

Deane, Hon: Silas, notice of, 252 n. Men- 
tioned, 27. 320, 330, 347,348, 430. Let- 
ters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 252, 
291, 340, 391 ; to, from Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 262. 

Deane, Mrs. Silas (Mrs. Joseph Webb), 

Deering, , 419. 

Defence, brig or ship, 45, 243, 244, 210, 

I 6, ttOO, OO-i. 

De Lancev, Gen. Oliver, 431. 

Delegates in Congress from Connecticut, 
letters from Jonathan Trumbull to, 
274, 318, 361. 

Deshon, Capt. John, 421, 430. 

Devotion, Ebenezer, 251. 

Dimon, Lt.-Col. Jonathan, 07, 68. 

Dircks, Col J. G., 268, 408, 470, 471. 

Dissatisfaction in the army, 325 et sea., 

Donop, Carl E. K, Count, 172, 185. 

Doolittle, Isaac, G8.401, 402. 

Douglas, Gen. John, notice of, 170 n. 
Mentioned, 07, 68, 381. Letter from, 
to Jonathan Trumbull, 170. 

Drake, Col. Joseph, 96. 

Drake, , 403. 

Drummond, Major Duncan, 431. 

Duane, Hon. James, notice of, 207 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Du Bois, Col. Lewis, 155, 150, 181. 

Duer, Hon. William, 48, 51. 

Dumas, Charles W. P., 471. 

Durkee, Col. John, 195. 

Dyer, Col. Eliphalet, notice of, 131 n. 
Mentioned, 5, 30, 61, 109, 232, 255, 257, 
205, 207, 208, 279, 284, 298, 313, 302, 
405. Letter from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 137. 

Dyer, Eliphalet ; Ellsworth, Oliver ; and 
Loot, Jz-se, letters from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 328, 347. 

Dyer, Eliphalet ; La Richard ; and Wil- 
liams, William, letu,* from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 131. 

Dyer, Jabez, 362. 

Dyer, Mrs. Thomas, 302. 


Fa par, Dr. , 87. 

Edgerton, Corp. , 429. 

Edwards, Rev. Jonathan, Jr., 403. 

Eliot, Rev. Andrew, D.D., notice of, 53 d. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
53. Death of, 272. 

Eliot, Samuel, .//-., notice of, 53 n. Men- 
tioned, 53, 242, 243. Letters from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 243, 271, 272, 333; 
to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 246. 

Ellery, Hon. William, 47. 

Ellsworth, Hon. Oliver, notice of, 290 n. 
Mentioned, 205, 284, 290, 303, 304, 305 
328, 347, 407, 465. 

Ely, Capt. Christopher, 182. 

Ely, Col. Jacob, 30, 150, 188, 203. 

Embargo on the transportation of articles 
through, or from, Connecticut, 8-10, 
12-15, 21-23, 33, 34, 96, 97, 285, 341 et 
Sen., 347. 

Engrossing, remedies proposed for, 308, 

Enos, Col. Roger, notice of, 316 n. Men- 
tioned, 89, 90, 98, 99, 182. 

Enos, Roger, and Mead, John, letter from, 
to Jonathan Trumbull, 316. 

Episcopal churches, left vacant by the 
war, 308. 

Erskine, Sir William, 167, 172. 

Estaing, Charles Hector, Comte d\ 238, 
241, 255, 442,445, 455, 456. 

Pagan, Sergt. -, 69. 

Fairfield, need of protection from the 
enemy, 31, 60. Letter from a com- 
mittee of the town of, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 396. Burning of, 405 et seu. 

Fanning, Col. Edmund, 183, 214, 419. 

Panning, Phinehas,419. 

Panning, Thomas, 272, 429. 

Parmington, Conn., 202. 

Pel lows, Gen. John, 1(31, 162. 

Fermoy, Gen. Matthias A. R., 55. 

Perriss, Solomon, 432, 433 n. 

Fisher, Col. Frederick, 108. 

Fitch, Lieut. Abraham, 151. 

Fitch, Jabez, 151, 152. 

Pitch, Col. Jonathan, 14, 68. 

Fleming, Col. , 197. 

Flints, scarcity of, 98. 

Flour, scarcity of, in Plymouth, 300, 357, 
359, 300; in Nantucket, 337; in Rhode 
Island, 341; at Yale College, 345; in 
Connecticut, 385, 386. 

Floyd, Col. Benjamin, 453. 

Flyim, Capt. , 219. 

Fogue. I >r. , 43. 

Forbes, James, letter to, from E. Fox, 440. 

Forbes, Capt. Samuel, 24, 217. 

Foreign Loans, expediency of, 137, 306, 
319^ 323, 354. 

Fort Ann, 04, 73, 77, 80. 

Fort Clinton, capture of, 167. Evacua- 
tion of, 179, IK). 

Fort Constitution, evacuation of, 179. 



Fort Dayton, 103. 119, 136. 

Fort Edward, 04, 77, 78, 83, 88, 90, 93, 

118, 123, 158, IBS. 
Fort George, 64, 78, 83, 89. 
Fort Griswold, 365, 377, 420, 421. 
Fort Independence, 6, 7, 72, 70. 
Fort Johnson, 130. 
Fort Lee, 143, 148. 
Fort Mifflin, 195. 
Fort Montgomery, capture of, 154, 160. 

Evacuation of. 179, 180. 
Fort Stanwix, or Fort Schuyler, 73, 104, 

107, 117, 129, 133, 130,139. 
Fort Trumbull, 314, 305, 300, 374, 375, 378, 

420, 421. 
Fort Washington, 102. 
Fox, E., letter from, to James Forbes, 

440. Mentioned, 441. 
France, alliance with, 351, 391. 
Franklin, Dr. Benjamin, 28, 35, 233, 296. 
Franklin, William, Gov. of New Jersey, 

Fraser, Gen. Simon, 117, 158, 100, 164. 
French fleet at Rhode Island, 239, 241, 

250. Goes to Boston, 254, 255, 256. 


Galloway, Joseph, 109. 

Gansevoort, Gen. Peter, notice of, 130n. 
Mentioned, 112, 129, 136, 139. Letter 
from, to Benedict xVrnold, 130. 

Garth, Gen. George. 402. 

Gates, Gen. Horatio, notice of, 49 n. Men- 
tioned, 35, 40, 41, 44, 55, 72, 74, 118, 14'J, 
152, 153, 157, 158, 151, 162, 164, 165, 107, 
168, 109, 171, 180, 180, 189, 190, 198, 
200, 200, 380. Letters from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 49, 52, 105, 138, 151, 
188, 194, 215; to Lord Thanet, 174; to 
Israel Putnam, 181 ; to, from Jonathan 
Trumbull, 124, 147, 150, 190, 202, 235; 
from Benedict Arnold, 129, 130 ; from 
Israel Putnam, 179. 

Gerard, Conrad Alexandre, minister from 
France, 238, 247, 294, 441, 445. 

German Flats, 108,111, 119, 129. 

Germantown, Gen. Washington at, 141, 

Gerrish, Col. Jacob, notice of, 307 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Gerry, Hon. F.lbridge, 277. 

Gibbs, Capt. Caleb, 185. 

Gillet, Elisha, 315. 

Glover, Gen. John, 95, 100, 114, 180, 260, 

Gordon, Rev. William, D.D., 180. 

Gorharn, Ca/'f. , 271. 

Grant, Gen. James, 107. 

Graves, Rev. Matthew, notice of, 416 n. 
Memorial of, to Jonathan Truuibul!.. 
410. Mentioned, 426,426. 

Gray, Samuel, 302. 

Greene, Col. Christopher, 172. 

Greene, Gen. Nathanael, notice of, 270;;. 
Mentioned, 35, 137, 140,201,200,204, 
405. Letter from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 270. 

Greene, William, Gov. of Rhode Tx'tnxl, 
notice of, 236 //. Letters from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 236, 250, 251,253, 340, 
370, 372, 3b0 ; to, from Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 251. 

Greenleaf, Stephen, 53. 

Grey, Major - — -, 211. 

Griswold, Daniel, 52. 

Groton, Conn,, 313, 314, 420, 421. 

Guilford, sloop, 401. 


Half-pay for officers in the army, 232, 

Hall, -, 170. 

Hallam, Edward, letters from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 338, 382. Mentioned, 
383, 384. 

Hamilton, Col. Alexander, 185, 187, 188, 

Hamilton, Lt.-Gov. Henry, 399. 

Hamlin, Jabez, 14. 

Hancock, Hon. John, 32, 145, 186, 200, 

Harding, Capt. Seth, 263, 282, 333. 

Harrison, Col. Charles, 190. 

Hart, Gen. Selah, 400. 

Harthway, Asael, 387. 

Hartley, Col. Thomas, 330. 

Hawley, Capt. David, 398,453. 

Hazard, Capt. Stanton, 429. 

Hazard, , 397. 

Heath, Gen. William, notice of, 301 n. 
Mentioned, 46, 50, 127, 250, 307. Let- 
ters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 301, 

Henshaw, Benjamin, 217. 

Herkimer, Gen. Nicholas, 104, 100, 108, 
111, 117, 133. 

Herrick, Col. Samuel, notice of, 192 n. 
Letters from, to Thomas Chittenden, 
192; to Henry W. Powell, 194; to, 
from II. W. Powell, 193. 

Hewes, Shubael, 440, 448. 

Hiilegas, Michael, 35. 

Hiilhouse, James, 402. 

Hillhouse, William, 382. 

Hinman, Capt. David, 374. 

Hitchcock, Aaron, 387. 

Ilolker, John, 348. 

Holland, American loans in, 469 et seq 
Relations of, with France, 474. 

Holt, , 383. 

Hopkh.s, Stephen, notice of, 10 n. Let- 
ter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 10. 

Hoskins, William. 255, 279, 28 L 282. 

llosmer, linn. Titus, notice of, 248 w. 
Mentioned, 250, 203, 269,275. Letters 



from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 218, 264, 
304 ; to, from Return J. Meigs, 325. 

Hosmer, Titus, and Adams, Andrew, let- 
ter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 257. 

Hotehkiss, John, 403. 

Howe, Richard, Earl, 294. 

Howe, Gen. Sir William, 43, 59, G9, 74, 
80, 83, 88, 111, 128, 131, 132, 134, 135, 
137, 139, 142, 143, 145, 146, 149, 150, 
167, 171, 176, 179, 180, 181, 185, 186, 
187, 188, 202,205, 206, 212, 250. 

Hubbard, Rev. Bela, notice of, 363 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Hudson River, chain across, 60. Men- 
tioned, 51, 70, 75, 87, 102, 198, 220, 317. 

Humphrey, Col. Jonathan, 124. 

Humphreys, Major David, 75, 79, 211. 

Humphry, Major , 155, 156. 

Huntington, Major Ebenezer, 203. 

Huntington, Mrs. Faith (Trumbull), no- 
tice of, 4 n. 

Huntington, Gen. Jabez, 3 n. 

Huntington, Jabez, notice of, 200 n. 
Mentioned, 399. 

Huntington, Gen. Jedidiah, notice of, 3 n. 
Mentioned, 27, 48, 339, 375, 376, 381, 
421. Letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 68. 171, 189, 195, 204, 211, 213, 
3'J8, 417, 427; Joseph Trumbull, 169, 
170; to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 3. 

Huntington, Hon. Samuel, notice of, 
*231 n. Mentioned. 231, 444, 465 Letter 
from Jonathan Trumbull to, 458. 

Huntington, Samuel, and Root, Jesse, 
letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Huntington, Major , 422. 

Huntington, L. I., 100. 

Hutchinson, Rev. Elisha, anecdote of, 

Hyde, Major Elijah, 151. 


Indians, 23, 87, 104, 110, 136, 165, 185, 
2*7. Treaty with the, 55. Stragglers 
scalped by, 103. 

Iuglis, Rev. 'Charles, D.D., 303. 


Jackson, Col. Henry, 136, 187. 
Jackson, Dr. David, 28. 
Johnson, Sir John, 64, 78, 87, 104, 119. 
Johnson, Col. Onadiah, 373,374, 378. 
Johnson, Sir William, 111. 
Johnstone, G&v. George, 369. 
Jones, Judge Thomas, 98 n. 
Jones, Timothy, 403. 
Judd, Capl. William, sea-cantain, 219. 
J;: Id Capt. William, of the American army, 
33 J. 


Kent, Elihu, 387. 
King, Alexander, 387. 

Kip, , 34. 

Kirkland, Rev. Samuel, notice of, 18 n. 
Mentioned, 18, 20. 

Knickerbacker, , 34. 

Kuyphausen, Dodo Henry, Baron, 172. 



Lafayette, Gilbert Motier, Marqi 

Lake Champlain, 41, 192. 

Lake George, 41, 84, 80, 152, 160. 

Lamb, Col. John, 155, 150, 181. 

Langdon, Capt. John, 48. 

Larrabee, , 107. 

Latham, Capt. William, 388. 

Latimer, Col. Jonathan, 160. 

La Tourte, Capt. , 57. 

Laurens, Hon. Henrv, notice of, 238 n. 
Mentioned, 197, 202, 450, 45a, 459. 
Letters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
238, 303, 444; to, from Jonathan 
Trumbull, 255, 273, 279, 321. 449. 

Laurens, Col. John, 241, 259, 204. 273, 444. 

Law, Hon. Richard, notice of, 131 n. Let- 
ter from Eliphalet Dyer, Richard 
Law, and William Williams, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 131. 

Law, Richard, and others, letter from 
Caleb Bull, Jr., to, 409. 

Lawrence, Capt, Isaac, 124. 

Lawrence, John, 28. 

Lead mine, opened at Middletown, 
Conn., 6. 

Learned, Gen. Ebenezer, 75, 187. 

Leavitt, John, 387, 388. 

Leavingworth, Capt. Eli, 182, 184, 211. 

Ledyard, Ebenezer, notice of, 331 r,. Let- 
ter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 331. 

Ledyard, Col. William, notice of, 313 n. 
Mentioned, 377, 378, 379,420, 421,422, 
429. letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 313, 388. 

Lee, Gen. Charles, 4, 83, 90, 176. 

Lee, Hon. Richard Henry, notice of, 234 n. 
Mentioned, 2!>0. 

Lee, Richard Henry, and Loveil, James, 
letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, H34. 

Lee, Capt. , 192. 

Lee, Col. , 187. 

Lee, Col. , 197. 

Lee, Major Henry, 427. 

Lester, 'Capt. Jonathan, 7, 11, 12, 22. 

Lincoln, Gen. Benjamin. 43, 95, 103, 106, 
108, 112, 117, 119, 124, 14'.'. 385, 442, 
455, 450. Wounded, 158, 101. Letter 
from, to Philip Schuyler, 120. 

Livingston, Cot. Henrv, 130. 

Livingston, Col. Henry B., 259, 264. 

Livingston, Col. James, notice of, 
Letter to Jonathan Trumbull, 8. 

8 n. 



Livingston, "William, Gov. of New Jersey, 
424 n. Letters from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 424, 466. Extract from a 
letter from Baron Van der Capellen to, 

Livingston, Lieut. William, 263. 

Livingston, William A., 424. 

Livingston, Li.-Col. , 155. 

Lockwood, Capt. Samuel, 453. 

Long, Co'. Pierse, 84, 106. 

Loomis, Capt. , 311. 

Lord, Capt. Lynde, 124. 

Loring, Lieut. Joseph, 102. 

Loring, Joshua, Jr., 306. 

Luthrop, Isaac, notice of, 359 n. Letter 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 359. 

Lothrop, Dr. Nathaniel, 300. 

Lovell, Hon. James, notice of, 234 n. 
Mentioned, 44, 234. Letter from Jona- 
than Trumbull to, 277. 

Lovell, Gen. Solomon, 177, 262. 

Luzerne. Cher. Anne-Cesar de la, notice 
of, 430 n. Letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 430. Mentioned, 441. 

Lyman, Deacon Daniel, 403. 

Lyman, Capt. D wight, 427. 

Lyman, , 398. 


McCIellrtn, Co!. Samuel, 150, 433. 

McDonald, Capt. , 118. 

McDonald, Lieut. , 69. 

McDougall, Gen. Alexander, 143, 145, 
140, 150, 170, 310, 382. 

Mcintosh, Gen. Lachlan, 258. 

McKoy, , 78. 

Maclean, Coi. Allan, 56. 

Maitland, Col. John, 455. 

Malcom. Col. William, 181. 

Manly, Capt. John, 102. 

Manning, Rev. James, 336. 

Marchant, Henry, 277. 

Massachusetts, takes active measures to 
complete its quota of Continental 
troops, 18. Deficiency in quota sent 
to Rhode Island, 30. Troops from, at 
Ticonderoga, 50. Troops from, impa- 
tient to go home, 85. Troops from, 
desert Gen. Schuyler, 91. Reinforce- 
ments from, to march to Gen. Schuyler, 
113, 126, 127. 

Mead, Col. John, notice of, 316 n. Men- 
tioned, 230. 

MeckUnburg, , 444. 

Med way. brig, 271, 272, 334. 

Meigs, Col. Return J., notice of, 173 n. 
Mentioned, 182. 184, 339. Letters from, 
to Jonathan Trumbull, 17;'., 325. 

Middk'to<vn, Conn. f lead mine and fur- 
nace at, 6. 

Mifflin, Gen. Thomas, 106, 107. 

Miller, Jeremiah, 366. 

Mix, Capt. John, 403, 406. 

Mukswurth, James, 52. 

Money, Capt. J., 199. 

Montgomery, Gen. Richard, 67. 

Moore, Miss Ann (Mrs. Jedidiah Hun- 
tington), 3 n., 170. 

Moore, Lieut. , 128. 

Morgan, Col. Daniel, 127, 180, 181, 187. 

Morse, Jedidiah, letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 433. 

Moselev, Col. Washington, 230. 

Mosely, Col. Joseph, 01. 

Motto, Col. Samuel, notice of, 422 n. 
Report of, to Jonathan Trumbull, 422. 

Muddy Island, 185. 

Mumford, Benjamin, 17. 

Mumford, David, 378. Reports on the 
means of defence at New London, 420. 

Mumford, Nathaniel, 334. 

Mumford, Peter, 17. 

Murray, Sir George, 172. 


Nash, Gen. Francis, mortally wounded, 

Navy, Commissioners for the, to reside 
in or near Boston, 45. Mentioned, 430. 

New Hampshire, troops from, 16, 21, 30, 
50, 106, 115. 

New Haven, Selectmen and Civil Author- 
ities of, letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 406. British expedition 
against, 402 et seq. Mentioned, 422. 

New London, Conn., 35, 255, 268, 313, 
377, 385, 404, 411, 420, 421, 428, 452. 
British fleet at, 267. 

Newport, R. I., British at, 17, 18, 38, 186, 
268. Distressed condition of the in- 
habitants of, 335, 344. Evacuation of, 

New York, City of, rumored evacuation 

of the, 70, 209. Gen. Gates disapproves 

of an attack on, 181. Markets in, well 

supplied, 316. Loyal publications of, 

, 369. 

New York, State of, applied to, for the 
loan of cannon, 5. Suffers from the 
embargo laws of Connecticut, 8-10, 15, 
22, 33, 34. Need of military assistance 
in the defence of, 94, 95. 

New York, Committee of Safety for, 
letter to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 13. 

Niles, Capt. Robert, 441. 

Nixon, Gen. John, 74, 80, 89, 114. 

North River, see Hudson River. 

Norton, Capt. Selah, 311. 

Norwalk, Conn., burning of, 411. 

Nourso, Joseph, notice of, 417 n. Letter 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 447. 


Odell, Lieut. John, 2G1. 

Oliver Cromwell, ship, 271, 272, 273, 331, 

Oswald, Col Eleazer, 354, 356, 357, 301. 



Paine, Cart. , 433, 431. 

Palmer, Gen. Joseph, 177. 

Parsons, Gen. Samuel II., notice of, 154 n. 
Mentioned, 48, 145, 149, 166, 107, 
203, 339, 377, 378, 379, 381, 409. Let- 
ters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 154, 
155, 18:2, 214, 305, 373, 411; to, from 
Jonathan Trumbull, 163. 

Parsons, Gen. Samuel 11., and Tyler, 
Gtn. John, letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 375. 

Paterson, Gen. John, 187. 

Payne, Benjamin, notice of, 407 n. 

Payne, Benjamin, and Ellsworth, Oliver, 
letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 407. 

Pease, Joseph, 387. 

Peck, William, 432, 433 n. 

Peck, Col. William, 80, 81. 

Penobscot Expedition, 430. 

Peters, Major Nathan, 378. 

Petersham, Charles Stanhope, Viscount, 

Pettibone, Capt. Abel, 182. 

Philadelphia, 111, 131, 147, 153, 169, 196. 
Prices of board, &c, in, 40. Other 
prices in, 313. 

Phillips, Capt. Samuel, 76. 

Phillips, Samuel, Jr., 461. 

Phipps, , 240. 

Pickering, Col. Timothy, 196. Letter 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 443. 

Pierce, John, Jr., notice of, 40 n. Men- 
tioned, 77, 200, 201. Letter from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., 40. 

Pigot, Sir Robert, 202. 

Plymouth, Ma^s., Memorial of the Select- 
men of, 290. Great scarcity of corn 
in, 300, 357, 359, 360. Petition of 
Selectmen of, 357. 

Poor, Gen. Enoch, 187, 462. 

Porter, Col. Elisha, 91. 

Potts, Dr. Jonathan, 107. 

Powder, sent to Gen. Washington, 4. 
Bad quality of the, made in Massa- 
chusetts, 40. Test of tiie, made in 
New Haven. 461. 

Powell, Gen. Henry W., letters from, to 
Samuel Herrick, 193; to, from Samuel 
Herrick, 194. 

Powell, Hon. Jeremiah, notice of, 126 n. 
Letters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
126, 318. 

Prentice, Lt.-Col. Samuel, 184. 

Prescott, Gen. Robert, notice of, 76 n. 
Mentioned, 80, 81, 83, 90. 

Price, Ezekiel, 448. 

Prisoners of war, taken by the British, 
destitute condition of, 67. Treatment 
of, 209. 

Pulaski, Count Casimir, 455. 

Punderson, Ebenezer, notice of, 287 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumb, 11,2*7. 

Purchasing department for the army, de- 
ficiencies in, 215. 

Putnam, Gen. Israel, notice of, 59 n. 
Mentioned, 68, 95, 108, 114, 125, 150, 

152, 157, 108, 180, 180, 187, 198, 310, 
373, 374, 379, 418, 480, 437. Letters 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 59, 60, 
127, 145, 148, 100, 209, 889; the Mili- 
tary Officers in Connecticut, 148; 
Horatio Gates, 179; to, from Horatio 
Gates, 181. 


Quaker Hill, R. I., battle of, 260 et seq. 


Raymond, John, 378, 384. 

Read, , 382. 

Red Bank, 171, 172, 185,201. 

Reed, Gen. Joseph, 48. 

Reid, Capt. , 334. 

Rhode Island, British occupation of, 17, 
18, 29. The State not strong enough 
to defend itself, 30, 37, 372. American 
expediliuu to dispossess the British, 
147, 150, 152, 177, 250. Need of 
troops in, 227, 237, 239, 240. Need of 
powder and cartridges in, 250, 251,253. 
Desires a loan of money from Connec- 
ticut, 370, 871. 

Rhode Island, resolves of the Council of 
W r ar of, 371. 

Rhodes, William, 370, 371. 

Riedesel, Frederick Adolph, Baron von, 

Ripley, John, notice of, 408 n. Letter 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 408. 

Robinson, Mrs. Beverley, 181. 

Rogers, Capt. , 418. 

Root, Hon. Jesse, notice of, 186 n. Men- 
tioned, 01, 313, 328, 347, 302, 441. 
Letters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
180, 454. 

Root, , 362. 

Rose, , 245. 

Kuseo, Ensign , 128. 

Russell, Cot. Edward, 400, 40L 

Sabin, Col. Hezekiah, 400, 401, 403, 406. 
St. Clair, Gen. Arthur, 55, 64, 78, 89, 112. 
St. John, Col. Stephen, 890. 
St. Ledger, Gen. Barry, 119, 130, 153. 
Salisbury, Conn., iron foundry at, 5, 7. 

11, 12,' 10. 22, 30, 00, 140, 208, 217, 245. 

Good quality of the cannon made at, 45. 
Salt, ^reat need of, in New York. 58, 08. 

Searcitv of, reported by Gen. Silliman, 

Rands, Comfort, 96. 
San. Is, Richardson, 96. 
Savannah, Ga., combined French and 

American attack on, 442, 445, 455. 



Saver, Rev. John, 405. 

Sayre, Stephen, 477. 

Schuyler, Hanfort, 130. 

Schuyler, Gen. Philip^ notice of, C n. 
Mentioned, 17, 44, 55, 57, 78, 75, 77, 78, 
86, 87, 88, S9, 93, 103, 104, 108, 112, 124, 
120, 161, 102, 103. Letters from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 11, 15, 16, 18, 11), 
22, 33, 54. 64, 84, 85, 90, 93, 105, 113 ; 
to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 0, 12, 20, 
24, 32, 89, 95, 108, 114; from Benjamin 
Lincoln, 120. 

Seaman, , 431. 

Sedgwick, Major Theodore, 75, 122, 124. 

Selleck, Simeon, 338, 382. 

Sever, William, 113. ' 

Seymour, Col. Thomas, notice of, 311 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Shapley, Capt. Adam, 3S8. 

Shaw, Nathaniel, 331, 362, 381. 

Sheldon, Col. Elislia, 42^. 

Sherburne. Major John S., 260, 263. 

Sheriff. Col. William, 219. 

Sherman, Adonijah, 403. 

Sherman, Hon. Roger, notice of, 25 n. 
Mentioned, 264, 330,45$. Letters from, 
to Jonathan Trumbull, 25, 35, 44, 46, 
48, 51,217, 284, 298, 312, 406. 

Sherman, Roger, and Ellsworth, Oliver, 
letters from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 
290, 305. 

Sherman, Roger ; Hosmer, Titus; and Ad- 
ams. Andrew. letters to, from Jonathan 
Trumbull, 256, 206. 

Sherman, Roger ; Huntington, Samuel ; 
and Woleott, Oliver, letter from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 231. 

Shipman,- Lieut. John, 429. 

Shippen, Dr. William, Jr., 43. 

Shirley, Henry, 241, 246. 

Silliman, Gen. Gold Selleck, notice of, 
98 n. Mentioned, 31, 95, 140, 100. 
Autobiographical account of Ids ser- 
vices in the war, 435-438. Letters 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 98,230; 
John Beatty, 435. 

Silliman, William, 437. 

Simonds, Co'. Benjamin, 120. 123. 

Simsbury Mines, prison at, 209. 

Singleton, Lieut. George, 198, 199. 

Skeen, Co'. Philip. 78, 103. 

Skeensborough, 64, 72, 73, 78, 84, 85,86. 

Smallpox among the prisoners of war 
brought from New York, 331, 332. 
Breaks out at New London, 379. 380. 

Srnediey, Capt. Samuel, notice of, 244 n. 
Mentioned, 243, 216, 3'J7. Letters 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 244 ; to, 
from Jonathan Trumbull, 245. 

S.-nirh, Dr. Reuben, 29. 

Smith, CV. Seth, 124, 1*2. 

Smith, Major . 400. 

Spencer, G- n. Joseph, notice of. 38 n. 
Mentioned, 178, 202. Letters from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 38, 70, SO. 

Spooner, Dr. Paul, notice of, 115 n. Let- 
ter from, to Oliver Woleott, 115. 

Springfield, Mass., 188, 191. 

Stark, Gen. John, 115, 119, 120, 123, 124, 
133, 149. 

Steel, manufactured in Rhode Island, 17, 

Stephen, Gen. Adam, 140. 

Sterling, Gen. Lord, 05, 170. 

Steuben, Gen. Frederick \V\ A. II. von, 
notice of, 389 n. Letter from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 380. 

Stewart, Col. , 10, 24. 

Stiles, Rev. Ezra, U.U , notice of, 345 n. 
Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Still Water, 103, 107, 110, 118, 152. 

Sturgis, Lieut. , 397. 

Sugar, price of, at Albany, 34. Belong- 
ing to inhabitants of New York de- 
tained in Connecticut, 90. 

Sullivan, (Jen. John, notice of, 227 ??. 
Mentioned, 111, 140, 235, 250, 200, 203, 
204, 209, 370, 380, 427. Letters from, 
to Jonathan Trumbull, 227, 239, 240, 
241 ; to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 240, 
242, 207. 

Sulphur refinery at Schoharie, N. Y., 

Swift, Col. Heman, 11, 12, 15, 10, 19, 20. 

Taylor, Capt , 442. 

Thanet, Sackville Tufton, Earl of notice 
of, 174?/. Mentioned, 191, 197. Letter 
to, from Horatio Gates, 174. 

Throop, Col. Dver, 378, 380, 381. 

Ticonderoga, Fort, 7, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 
23, 41, 44, 64, 09, 72, 75, 76, ,7, 78, 79, 
82, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 92, 93, 104, 112, 
114, 118, 128, 150, 152, 102, 170, 192, 
194, 195, 198, 199. Dissensions among 
the troops at, 12, 20. 

Todd, Asa. 403. 

Torrey, William, 333, 334. 

Townsend, Dr. Piatt, desires to erect salt 
works in Connecticut, 58, 63. 

Treat, Capt. , 163. 

Trenton and Princeton, battles of, 49. 

Trumbull, David, 62, 219 rc. 

Trumbull, John, notice of, 261 n. Men- 
tioned, 5, 44, 112, 139, 148, 152, 189, 
107, 200, 273. Letter from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 201. 

Trumbull, Jonathan, letters from, to Sam- 
uel Adams, 270: the Board of War, 
451; Sir Henry Clinton, 433; a Com- 
mittee of Congress, 320: Silas Deane, 
2^2; Delegates in Congress from Con- 
necticut, 274, 3 IS, 3(51 ; Samuel Eliot, 
Jr., 246 ; William Greene, 251 ; Horatio 
Gates, 124, 147. 150, 190, 202, 235 : Jedi* 
diah Huntington, 3; Samuel Hunting- 
ton, 458 : Henry Laurens. 255, 273, 279, 
321, 449; James Lovell, 277; Com- 



mittee of Safety for New York, 13; 
Samuel H. Parsons, 103 ; Philip Schuy- 
ler, b\ 12, 20, 24, 32, 89, 05, 108, 114 ; 
Samuel SrrieOley. 245; John Sullivan, 
240, 242. 207; Roger Sherman, Titus 
Hosmer, and Andrew Adams, 256, 203 ; 
John Tyler, 428 ; William Tryon, 228, 
280; Monsieur Valnais, 44K; Pierre 
Van Cortlandt, 03 ; Nathaniel Wood- 
hull, 5. Letters to, from Andrew 
Adams, 208; Jabez Bowen, 259; Wil- 
liam Bradford, 29 ; Caleb Bull, Jr., 409 ; 
Thaddeus Burr, 31, 00, 453; Charles 
Burrall, 121, 122; Aaron Cleveland, 
410; George Clinton, 220; Sir Henry 
Clinton, 432; Nathaniel Coffin, 337; 
l'eter Colt, 401, 401 ; a Committee of 
Congress, 308, 809; Nicholas Cooke, 
37; Silas Deane, 252, 291, 349, 391; 
Delegates in Congress from Connecti- 
cut, 274, 318, 361 ; John Douglas, 176 ; 
James Duane, 207; Kliphalet Dyer, 
137 ; Kliphalet Dyer, Oliver Ellsworth. 
and Jes^e Hoot, 328, 347 ; Kliphalet 
Dyer, Richard Law, and William Wil- 
liams, 131 ; Andrew Eliot, 53 ; Samuel 
Eliot, Jr., 243, 271, 272, 333; Roger 
Enos and John Mead, 310; a Commit- 
tee of the town of Fairfield, 300; 
Horatio Gates, 40, 52, 105, 138, 151, 
188, 104, 215: Jacob Gerrish, 307; 
Matthew Grave*, 416 ; Nathanael 
Greene, 270; William Greene, 230, 
250. 251. 253, 340, 870, 872, 380; Ed- 
ward Hallam,338, 382; William Heath, 
301,802; Stephen Hopkins, 16; Titus 
Hosmer. 248, "J04. 864 ; Titus Hosmer 
and AnOrew Adams. 257 ; Bela Hub- 
bard, 803; Jedidiah Huntington, 08, 
171, 189, 195, 204, 211, 213, 898, 417, 
427 ; Samuel Huntington and Jesse 
Root, 441; Henry Laurens 28S, 303, 
4-14 ; Ebenczer Ledyard, 331 ; William 
Ledyard, 318. 388 ; 'Richard Henry Lee 
and James Lovell, 284; James Liv- 
ingston, 8 ; William Livingston, 424, 
400; Isaac Lothrop, 850; Anne Cesar 
de la Luzerne, 439 ; Return J. Meigs, 
173,325; Jedidiah Morse, 438: Sam- 
uel Motte, 422 ; Selectmen and Civil 
Authorities of New Haven, 400 ; 
Joseph Nourse, 417; Samuel If. Par- 
sons. 154. 155, 182, 214, 865, 873, 411 ; 
Samuel H. Parsons and John' Tyler, 
875; Benjamin Payne and Oliver Ells 
worth, 407 ; Timothy Pickering, 448; 
Selectmen of the town of Plymouth, 
Mass., 299. 857 ; Jeremiah Powell, 120, 
318; Ebenezer Punderson, 287 ; Israel 
Putnam, 50, 60, 127, 145, 148, 106, 209, 
389; John Riplev, 408; Jesse Root, 
186, 454; Philip Schuyler, 11, 15, 10, 
1*. 10, 22, 83. 54. 01, 84, 85, 90.93,106, 
118; Thomas Seymour, 311; linger 
Sherman, 25, 85, "-H, 40. 48, 51, 2^7, 
284,2'j8,312,403; Uoger Sherman, Sam- 

uel Huntington, and Oliver Wbleott, 
281; Roger Sherman, Titus Hosmer, and 
Andrew Adams, 250, 26:5 ; Roger Slur- 
man and Oliver Ellsworth, 290, 305; 
G. Selleck Silliman, 98, 230; Samuel 
Smedley, 244 ; Joseph Spencer, 88,70, 
80; Frederick W. A. II. yon Steuben, 
389; Ezra Stiles, 845; John Sullivan, 
227, 239, 240, 241 ; John Trumbull, 
261 ; Jonathan Trumbull. Jr., 55, 50, 
72, 77, 83, 80. 87, 103. 107, 109, 117, 152, 
163, 164, 108, 109, 184, 107, 200, 201, 
218; Joseph Trumbull, 42, 61, 02, 65, 
69, 81, 82 ; William Tryon, 222, 286, 
369; John Tyler, 429; Monsieur 
Valnais, 440, 452, 456; Pierre Van 
Cortlandt, 58, 93, 96 ; Henry Van 
Dvck, 307, 425 ; William Vernon, 
420; James Wadsworth, 877, 380. 383; 
James Wadsworth, Nathaniel Wales, 
Jr., and David Mumford, 420; Jere- 
miah Wadsworth, 384 ; Andrew Ward, 
400; James Warren, 300; Meshech 
Weare, 324; Joseph Webb, 219; Ar- 
nold Welles, 314 ; Samuel Whiting, 
404; William Whiting. 217; Josiah 
Whitney, 288; John Willard, 413; 
William Williams, 134, 139; Oliver 
Wolcott, 75, 70, 159 ; William Worth- 
ington, 418, 431. Congratulates Gen. 
Gates on his return to the northern 
armv,125. On the depreciation of the 
currency, 319, 322, 323, 458. 450, 4(50. 
Trurnbulh Mrs. Jonathan (Eaith Robin- 
son), 218. 
Trumbull, Jonathan, Jr., notice of, 40 h. 
Mentioned, 88//.. 148, 151, 191. 203; 209, 
322, 838. 887, 801, 450, 405. Appointed 
Comptroller of the Treasury, 805, 3o0, 
312. Letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 55. 56, 72, 77, 88, 80. 87, 108, 107, 
100, 117, 152, 168, 104, 108, 109, 184, 
107, 200, 201. 218; to, from John 
Pierce, Jr., 40. 
Trumbull, Mrs. Jonathan, Jr., 199. 
Trumbull, Joseph, notice of, 42 n. Men- 
tioned, 52, 189. 148, 152, 180, 208, 218, 
257, 270, 277, 278, 279, 280, 208, 804, 
321, 322. Letters from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 42, 01, 62, 05, 69, 81, 82 ; to, 
from JediOiah Huntington, 100, 170. 
Death of, 241, 247, 249, 255, 250, 269, 
2S 1 , 282. 

! Trumbull, ship, 480. 

i Tryon, Gen. William, notice of, 222 n. 
Mentioned, 51, 233, 285, 401. 402, 405, 
430, 487. Letters from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 222, 280, 809; to, from 
Jonathan Trumbull, 228, 280. 

| Turnbull. , 62. 

I Turner Dr. Philip, 28, 43. 

' Tyler, G( n. John, notice of, 875 n. Men- 
tioned, 875, 378, 381, 411, 421. Letters 
to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 428 ; 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 429. 

! Tyler, Cu/tf. ,429. 




Valnais, Mons., letters from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 440. 452. 456; ro, from 
Jonathan Trumbull, 448. 

Van Cortlandt, Hon. Pierre, notice of, 
5S n. Letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 58, 93, 90 ; to, from Jonathan 
Trumbull, 03. 

Van der Capellen, Banm, 445, 449, 45S, 
406. Extract from a letter of, to Wil- 
liam Livingston, 408. 

Van der Capellen of Marsch, Baron, 469. 

Vandervoort, Peter, 96. 

Van Dyck, Rev. Henry, notice of, 367 n. 
Mentioned, 303, 364, 427 ?2. Letters 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 367, 425. 

Van Schaick, Col. Gozen, 104, 130. 

Van Vechten, Major -, 108, 169. 

Varnum, Gen. James M., 201. 

Vernon, William, notice of, 429 n. Letter 
from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 429. 


"Wads worth, Gen. James, notice of. 377n. 
Mentioned, 27, 79, S3, 84, 80, 89, 90, 
3b9. Letters from, to Jonathan Trum- 
bull, 377, 380, 383. 

Wadsworth, James ; Wales, Nathaniel, 
Jr. ; and Mumford, David, report to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 420. 

Wadsworth, James, Jr., 14. 

Wadsworth, Jeremiah, notice of, 384 n. 
Mentioned, 62, 87, 170, 171, 197, 219, 
404, 465. Letter from, to Jonathan 
Trumbull, 3S4. 

Wait, Marvin, 384. 

Wait, Major , 193. 

Walbrid^e, Major Amos. 378. 

Wales, Nathaniel, .//•., 250, 302. Exports 
on the means of defence at New Lon- 
don, 420. 

Walker, Capt. Robert, 409, 410. 

Walker, Major , 263. 

Ward, Gen. Andrew, notice of, 400 n. 
Mentioned, 100, 419. Letter from, to 
Jonathan Trumbull, 400. 

Warner, Col. Seth, 84, 103, 115, 119, 

Warren, James, notice 
from, to Jonathan 
Mentioned, 430 n. 

Warren, Col. . 79. 

Warrerr, /r.<V/r/^, 2 18. 

Washburn, David, 433 n. 

Washinuror., Gen. George, 4. 6, 20, 25, 27 
33, 34, 37, A2. 43, 4^. 49, 51. 59, On, 74 

)f. 360 n. Letter 
Trumbull, 360. 

76. 80, 81. 83, 86, 88 89, 95, pie, 108, 

111, 113, 114, 125. 127, 131, 132', 133, 

134, 137, 14<', 141, 142, 143, 1 14, 145, 

119, 107, 185, 187, 188, 189, 190, 2>)5, 

232,238, 239, 240, 241, 311, 330, 347, 
410, HI, 451. 
Watson, John, 243, 245, 246. 

Waterbury, Co'. David, 67. 

W r atson, Capt. James, 387, 388. 

Watts, Major Stephen, 111. 

Wayne, Gen. Anthony, 19. 

Weare, Meshech, Gov. of Near Hampshire, 

notice of, 324 n. Letter from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 324. 
Webb, Col. Charles, 160. 
Webb, Joseph, notice of, 219 n. Letter 

from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 219. 
Webb, Col. Samuel B., 181, 203. 
Webster, Pelatiah, 440. 

Weeks. Capt. , 197. 

Welles, Arnold, notice of, 314 n. Letter 

from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 314. 
Welles, Samuel, notice of, 315 n. 

Wells, Major , 284. 

Wesson, Col. James, 119, 136. 

Western lands, claims of particular 

States to, delays the ratification of 

the articles of confederation, 290. 
Wetmore, llezekiah, 425, 426. 

Wheeler, , Salisbury, 77, 83. 

Whelpley,, 432^ 433?;. 
Whipple, Capt. Abraham, 430. 
Whiting, John, 401, 403, 406. 
Whiting, Co'. Samuel, notice of, 404 n. 

Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

494. xMentioned, 230. 
Whiting, William, letter from, to Jona- 
than Trumbull, 217. 

Whiting, Major -, 19. 

Whitney, Rev. Josiah, notice of, 288 n. 

Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Whitney, Tarbald, 24. 

Whitney, Capt. , 124. 

Whittelsey, Rev. Chauncey, 403. 

Wilcox, Major Amos, 79. 

Wilkinson, Gen. James, notice of, 157 n. 

Letter from, to George Clinton, 157. 
Willard, Re>\ John, notice of, 4l3n. 

Letter from, to Jonathan Trumbull, 

Willard, Mrs. John, 413. 
Willett, Lt.-Col. Marinus, 111, 117, 133. 
Williams, Ezekiel, 429. 
Williams, Major Griihth, 164, 199. 
Williams, Rev. Solomon, D.D., notice of, 

2 n. Serious illness of, 3. 
Williams, Hon. William, notice of, 131 n. 

Mentioned, 5, 30, 250. Letters from, 

to Jonathan Trumbull, 131, 134, 139. 
Williams, Mrs. William, 134. 

Williams, Capt. , 421. 

Willson, Gen. , 201. 

Winds, Col. William, 181, 187. 
Window, Capt. Job, 7, 11, 12, 19, 22, 23, 

32. 40. 
Winthrop, Mr*, Elizabeth (Sheriff), 219. 
Wolcott, Gen. Erastus, 381. 
Wolcott Hon-. Oliver, notice 

Mentioned, 29, 35, 30, 40, 

159, 202, 2:11. 409, 411, 412. 

from, to Jonathan Trumbu 

159; to, from l'aul Spooner 
Wood, , 433. 

of, 75 ». 

122, 140, 


. 75, 79, 




Woodford, Gen. William, 172. 
Woodhull, Gen. Nathaniel, notice of, 5 ». 

Letter to, from Jonathan Trumbull, 5. 
Wooster, Gen. David, notice of, 52 n. 

Mentioned, '21. 52, 4-'5t>. 
Wooster, Mrs. David, 403. 
Worthington, Col. William, notice of, 

418 n. Letters from, to Jonathan 

Trumbull, 41b, 4^1. 

Wvlcy, Capt. , 70. 

Wyllvs, Col. Samuel, 160, 181. 
Wynkoop, Commodore Jacobus, 41. 


Yale College, great need of flour at, 345.